Names For Graves - Worst Kid Ever (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Names For Graves

Worst Kid Ever (2005)

Triple Attack

Names For Graves are the type of hardcore band that'll elicit all sorts of fun clichés when describing their style, but for all the right reasons: stripped down, no-frills, straightforward, short, pissed, fast, loud, etc. al. Worst Kid Ever matches the raw speed of Minor Threat with Comeback Kid's energy and attitude, and an occasional hint of melody for good measure.

The album sounds like the band went into the studio and wrote and recorded every song on the spot -- and that's not an alibi for Worst Kid Ever, it's a plus. The rawly-produced disc plays out like a live show, flying by in under 20 minutes with little cohesion. Standouts include the gang vocal assistance in the chorus of "The Movement" ("SO WHAT THE FUCK! / is keeping us back, from taking the power lies? / SO WHAT THE FUCK! / is holding us back, from looking out behind closed eyes?"), "Phil Spector" hinting at its better live power with its mid-tempo segue midway through, and opener "A New Use For An Anchor" with its immediate declaration "we'll only see this sunrise so many more times," letting you know precisely what you're in for.

The aforementioned stability, however, is perhaps the worst quality about Worst Kid Ever. Putting the "Intro" track as the second song is sequentially sly and subsequently refreshing, but there are major issues with the middle-to-late section, with too many moments here where one track really doesn't follow another well. A full 5-10 seconds must follow "Bookends" before a slow fade into the opening chants of "we'll live forever! We'll never forget!" (etc.) in "There's Beauty In The Breakdown" comes through; it's a seriously intermissive feel that disrupts flow badly, and both are followed by a fairly out-of-place instrumental track in "Bear Market." If this was a compilation of splits and 7 inches and its ilk, or even an old series of singles tacked onto the end, it would be completely understandable, as that's exactly what it sounds like, but being a full-length I expect a bit more cohesion and Worst Kid Ever suffers from serious attention deficit in that sense.

Regardless, Names For Graves proves with their debut that you can express anger in still somewhat articulate ways, all the whilst having fun doing it.

The Movement (Searching For Ray Cappo)
Phil Spector
This City Needs Saints