grade 8

Grade 8

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Snarling vocals, chain-saw unison guitar and bass, thundering drums -- all the essential elements erupt from each track of grade 8's brutal debut. Relief from this assault is rare and momentary: for example, the guitar that opens "Get It Out" is not sadistically overdriven, though Dustin Tooker drops his low E string down to a D to make his arpeggios as ominous as possible. In any event, within seconds listeners are cranked back up to the max, with Ryan Tooker racing past his rapped opening for another throat-ripping exhibition. There's no doubt that grade 8 can pummel through a set of neo-metal material and, most likely, tear it up on-stage; the only question is why that may be all it takes to make it in a style whose rules are as rigid and unforgiving as those of even the most conservative genres.

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