Grade - Under the Radar (Cover Artwork)
Staff Pick


Under the Radar (1999)


I've never seen Grade before. I live in the same city they do, and it's not exactly a big one. But I've never seen them. I might have played with a few of the guys a couple years back on one of the many shows cramped in a church basement somewhere, but I've never actually met them.

Most people have heard of, and heard them though. They had a knack for taking a bit of emo, a bit of full-on hardcore, and making it work. The first time you hear screaming over a sweet melodic riff, it sounds a little weird, I admit, but somehow, it works. Kind of how Dag Nasty managed to sound good, even though they were combining two very, very different types of music

Grade more than manages to pull off this somewhat unusual collision of sounds, making it sound natural, and it makes the growls, melodic singing, and music into a coherant whole. I guess that would be an accomplishment in itself. But they don't stop there, because the songs are damn catchy. This CD has barely left my player in the last week or two, and probably won't for some time to come.

The whole album is a highlight, with each song shining on it's own. I don't know how else to describe it, but I guess that's what makes it so damn good. Not because they're from Oakville, not because they're from Canada, not because they're on Victory, but just because it's a great album, you should find yourself a copy and give it a listen.