it is impossible to pigeon hole the band, Grades style can be
best described as a mix of hardcore, metal, punk, pop and emo.
making the Grade on music scene
DeLury - Entartainment Beat
After eight years
together, countless days touring, numerous lineup changes and every sort
of adversity a band can encounter on the road, Grade is finally starting
to turn some heads in the world of mainstream rock.
This could be in part to the commercial success of their labelmates, Thursday,
whose video Understanding (in a Car Crash) is now a staple
Their label, Victory Records, has gone from being a small underground
outfit showcasing little-known acts to a steadily growing competitive
force in the music industry. This was never more apparent than on March
23, when a sizeable number of fans arrived in Charlotte to see the Victory
Records Tour on its stop in the Carolinas.
The tour plays host to a strange combination of acts, such as emo bands
like Student Rick and Taking Back Sunday, ska group Catch 22 and Grade,
whose music isnt easily filed away into any one genre.
Grades atypical sound can only begin to be described as a mixture
of punk, metal, hardcore, emo and pop. Each song is different from the
last, but at the same time they ultimately come together as the distinct
sound of Grade.
This strange blend of music is composed by bassist Matt Jones, drummer
Charles Moniz and guitarists Brad Cassrin and Kent Abbot.
Vocalist Kyle Bishop, whose lyrics take a very scientific approach towards
analyzing human emotions and frailty and are delivered with a passionate,
venomous and heartfelt blend of harmony and screaming,
oversees the chameleon style of music.
Based out of Toronto, Canada, Grade formed in 1994 from the remnants of
other local bands. In that year, they recorded their first full-length
album, And Such Is Progress.
A short while after, they were picked up by Victory Records and went on
to record the albums Separate the Magnets, Under the
Radar, and The Embarrassing Beginning, a compilation
of their early demos and EPs.
Recently, Grade released their latest effort, Headfirst Straight
to Hell, and has been touring in support of it.
Grades music didnt go unnoticed for long. MTVs show
120 Minutes featured Grades video A Year in the
Past (Forever in the Future), and sister channels MTV2 and MTVX
have placed the video Triumph and Tragedy in steady rotation.
In their homeland of Canada, the video Termites Hollow
has seen heavy rotation on the station Much Music.
Guitarist Kent Abbott, 20, is the newest addition to Grades lineup.
Nonetheless, he is excited to be able to share the stage with the band.
I was a fan of Grade before I started playing with them, and to
me they always created their very own sound, says Abbott.
Their sound has been a constantly evolving one and has remained elusive
to categorization. Abbott believes this constant cycle of redefining their
music comes more from their relationships with one another.
I think weve evolved in being comfortable playing with each
other, says Abbott about the music on the new album. I think
it shows our ability as musicians is there.
On the Victory tour, Grade has still faced many trials but refuses to
Our transmission has blown twice on our van, we played some shows
as a four-piece instead of a full band, Kyle got sick for a while and
couldnt sing for a couple nights, so we had to get kids in the audience
to sing, says Abbott. Were having a blast, though. Weve
made a lot of friends on the tour. Its difficult as well, with all
the diversity of music. Its hard to get kids to come and check out
the whole package.
Grade however, seemed to have no trouble in capturing the audiences
It doesnt matter to me how many people are there, says
Maybe other people can relate to it. Maybe other people can come
in and unite with us for 45 minutes when we visit their city.
For more information, music and videos on Grade, visit their Web site