Oh my God. What kind of alternate universe did this band come from? Who the fuck are these guys? Whatever smoking, other-worldly elixir they’ve managed to imbibe, it’s apparently given em near-magical powers and the ability to channel everything that was cool and potent about ‘80s punk. I mean, I’m gonna drop some names here, okay? And let it be known that Abandoned is, in all seriousness, when taken purely as sonic artifact and without any of the nostalgic connections inherent in such name dropping, nearly or just as good as the following bands and records: Attitude Adjustment’s American Paranoia. Cryptic Slaughter’s Convicted. Christ On Parade’s The Mind Is a Terrible Thing. Are you getting me yet? Seamless and awesome and raw and totally unpretentious. If the album runs the risk of sounding dated, fuck it—personally, I could not give a flying shit if you wear your influences on your sleeve, as long as you bring something solid to the table. And I’m telling you, Empty Grave perfectly capture the audible equivalent of the bad old days: two terms under Reagan, Cold War terror, us versus them. Then they condense it onto one 45 rpm LP beautifully entrenched in punk rock from, say, 1986. Then they resoundingly kick you in the ass with it, over and over again. It takes a lot for me to give a glowing review, but I’ll say this: if you care at all for straight-forward 1980s punk rock, I just cannot recommend this enough. Worth seeking out.