Here’s one from a Demons Run Amok Entertainment batch that recently arrived at our headquarters. I was pleasantly surprised when I opened the package and stumbled upon this repress. In less than a decade, Grade 2 came a long way from a local act to a band with worldwide recognition. Their tireless touring routine, sense for writing catchy songs, and many brilliant recordings paved the way to streetpunk stardom. Since their inception, Grade 2 released three exceptional full-length records, Mainstream View, Break The Routine, and Graveyard Island. Of course, there are other recordings, such as the debut demo, Broken Youth EP, split release with Saints & Sinners, Heard It All Before EP, and Graveyard Island Sessions EP. To put it simply, Grade 2 are working all the time, and there’s no decline in quality.
Demons Run Amok recently reissued Break The Routine on vinyl. Therefore, I will talk about this one a bit more. According to Discogs, it’s a second repress by this prolific German record label, and it comes in two vinyl variants. The Kelly green variant comes in 300 copies, while the clear vinyl with red and yellow splatter comes in 200 copies. I don’t know about the kelly green one, but this splatter version looks divine. It’s probably one of the best variations I’ve seen so far, and you should grab this variant if you’re into colored vinyl records. The vinyl comes in a heavy, glossy, high-quality gatefold with a monochrome print. At first, I thought this repress was supposed to look like this, but it seems the pressing plant made a mistake, so the label counts this one as a misprint. Demons Run Amok plan to replace this monochrome version with original, colored cover artwork. Maybe it’s just me, but I find this version of the cover artwork better than the original one. It carries that old-school xerox-printed monochrome feel, like many good punk rock releases had decades ago. After all, why would you like to have three versions of Break The Routine with the same cover artwork? It doesn’t make any sense, right?
To those stumbling upon this band for the first time, expect nothing but a flawlessly performed streetpunk. Grade 2 nailed this particular record. Break The Routine carries many hits like Pubwatch, Groundhog Day, Hearts Of Gold, Mr. Industry, Turning The Tide, Falling Bridges, Medina Snake, and Procrastinator. Of course, there are a couple more compositions thrown in there, and they sound good as well, but those I mentioned above are pure bangers. Even the interlude sounds superb. Their sound continuously levitates somewhere between the eighties and contemporary streetpunk, but expect some classic punk rock maneuvers as well. Grade 2 are famous for their harmonious singalongs, catchy melodies, powerful four-chord progressions, vividly hearable basslines, and profoundly dynamic rhythmic sequences. If that’s something you’re looking for, then Break The Routine will be right up your alley. Head to Demons Run Amok Entertainment web store for more information about ordering this streetpunk gem.