I was on a serious 45 Grave kick the other day. I kept listening to “Black Cross” and “Sleep in Safety” (the actual song from the Phantoms EP, not the album—although that’s cool, too—but the song “Sleep in Safety” is not on the album of the same name… weird, I know) over and over. Then, I went through the inevitable “YouTube search phase” where I compared the (superior) Consumers versions of hits like “Concerned Citizen” and “Anti, Anti, Anti” to the 45 Grave versions. As part of my research, whilst searching to see if there were any ancient live videos for the song “Black Cross,” I noticed there was a Red Hot Chili Peppers video of a song called “Black Cross.” It was, indeed, the same song. I’ll be the first to admit I’m not the biggest Chili Pepper advocate. I think they yoinked their entire career from the Minutemen. However, I feel that I have to admit this: Flea & Co. nailed it. Fucked up, right? Like, it’s a super rando cover. The worst part about the song is Anthony Kiedis. He sounds kinda wonky doing the Dinah Cancer “Owww, it really hurts” but it’s passable, I guess. The music is spot fucking on. Which brings me to this newest incarnation of 45 Grave. It sounds like low-volume coffee shop classic rock. It’s got some weird horns on some songs and some classical guitar noodling… even an acoustic/country style song. All of them suck. They re-recorded an older (not classic) 45 Grave song “Akira” for some reason, but that sucks too. It’s kind of gallopy. The verse riff on “Night of the Demons” was most likely lifted from “Fight for Your Right to Party” by Beastie Boys. Don’t even get me started on which Agnew played guitar on this record. The photo is too photoshopped to figure out if it’s Frank Jr. or Sr., but without using Wikipedia as a source, I’m gonna go out on a limb and say it was Jr. His performance on this record is probably the highlight, if there are any, but it does, in NO WAY, RIP IT UP. The only conclusion I can make from listening to this record is that Dinah Cancer, Frank Agnew, et. Al., must really have a serious disdain for punk and hardcore to make this record under the name 45 Grave and try to pass this bullshit off as a legit album. Then again, maybe this is some sort of AA rehab record. Then again, they haven’t put out anything worth listening to in like thirty years. Fuck this record simply because I’d rather listen to the Red Hot Fucking Chili Peppers than this record. I’m going on vacation tomorrow and I’ll be listening to nothing besides “Crash the Pose” by Gauze for a week in an attempt to get these bad ideas out of my head.
–guest (Frontier, frontierrecords.com)