UK punk band Grade 2 announce their third studio album eponymously titled ‘Grade 2’ due for release on February 17, 2023, via Hellcat Records. Their most representative work yet, the record is a thumping fifteen-track tour-de-force melding the uncompromising ethos of punk with the howl of contemporary injustice, personal identity, and frustrations of Gen-Z youth, authentically told by three lads with punk coursing through their veins.
Grade 2 also share a new music video for ‘Under The Streetlight’ ahead of the album. The high-energy track with a spirited, hopeful melody comes with a feel-good music video that praises the power of community. The band comments, “Even though there are times when life can feel stagnant or things aren’t going to plan, there will always be people there to support you whether it’s mates, a partner, or your family.”
50 years after the genre turned the music world upside-down, UK-based Grade 2 are bringing the raw power of old-school punk to a new generation. United by a love of old-school punk, ska, and oi, childhood friends Sid Ryan (vocals, bass), Jacob Hull (drums), and Jack Chatfield (guitar, vocals) formed the band at fourteen years old, honing their craft playing Clash and Jam covers before refining their own sound. With an album and EP already under their belts, in 2018 the trio signed to Hellcat Records – helmed by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong – and put out their 2019 record ‘Graveyard Island.’ After getting invited to work at Armstrong’s Ship Rec Studio for Grade 2, the band was stoked to be back.
“Returning to Ship Rec Studio resparked that magic dynamic,” says guitarist Jack Chatfield. “When we’re in there I feel like we reach our full potential. Tim would offer tweaks and tips for some songs, while others he’d compliment the first time we’d play them.”
Melding the near-mythical musical heritage of their native Isle of Wight with the humdrum reality of growing up in a tired seaside town, Grade 2 spit out blistering punk music laced with passion, angst, humor, and despair. With a commitment to the cause, lead single ‘Doing Time’ is a thunderous hardcore punk track screaming “Spoon feed me corporate lies; I left that place with a noose to my neck.”
Frontman Sid Ryan explains, “Like everyone else, 2020 left us proper fucked off.” He continues: “Yet we were able to channel every ounce of that despair into every second of this record.”
What results is a bone-crunching 35-minutes that agitates, intoxicated, and liberates in equal measure. The trio is famed for blistering live performances and exceptional musicianship, and they have successfully packaged the essence of their live show in the limited format of an album. Tune in and turn up. Here’s a record to rattle your bones, stir your heart, and have you singing till you’re hoarse like it’s the first day of punk.