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Grade 8 Review
by Joannie Foney

Grade 8 has released a surprisingly inconsistent CD, which is not entirely a bad thing, but rather, a weird one. The first song reminded me of what it sounded like around here before we got the cats fixed, with plaster- peeling yowling set to music. Immediately I sent Keavin an email telling him 'let's get dolly' to do this one, only to be surprised by the second & subsequent songs. After another quick email to Keavin canceling my first email, I listened to the entire thing & failed to be bored by it, which is not surprising, given the quirkiness of this release.

Elvis is alive, it turns out, and is the lead singer for Grade 8. Or maybe it's a moonlighting Jonathan Davis, some songs they'd battle it out & end up with a very strange war of the vocalists. When the singer just sang like himself rather than trying to sound like someone else, he was a decent metal vocalist with a pretty good range. In spite of the vocals, this is a CD with original sounding music on it, I couldn't detect any overt ?influences? or stolen riffs anywhere, something that always makes me happy. This CD is a blend of radio friendly fodder (which manage to be interesting in spite of itself) and respectable metal tunes that are weird & surreal enough.

The last few songs on this CD are pretty slow, tedious & drag, but I think that was on purpose. Elvis is an old dude, by now, well into his hundreds, I think. By the last couple tracks, the band was firmly lodged in the controversial "metal in a can" movement typified by generic openings, uninspired music & lackluster singing. Oh well, after such startlingly strange originality, I guess they are entitled to play a couple easy tunes that lack imagination. Over all a band worth checking out.

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Grade 8


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