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Although it is impossible to pigeon hole the band, Grade’s style can be best described as a mix of hardcore, metal, punk, pop and emo.



Band making the ‘Grade’ on music scene

Kevin 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 on MTV2.

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 isn’t easily filed away into any one genre.

Grade’s 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.

Grade’s music didn’t go unnoticed for long. MTV’s show “120 Minutes” featured Grade’s 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 “Termite’s Hollow” has seen heavy rotation on the station Much Music.

Guitarist Kent Abbott, 20, is the newest addition to Grade’s 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 we’ve 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 back down.

“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 couldn’t sing for a couple nights, so we had to get kids in the audience to sing,” says Abbott. “We’re having a blast, though. We’ve made a lot of friends on the tour. It’s difficult as well, with all the diversity of music. It’s hard to get kids to come and check out the whole package.”

Grade however, seemed to have no trouble in capturing the audience’s attention.

“It doesn’t matter to me how many people are there,” says Abbott.
“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 at

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