Observant readers (okay, really only the people who read the Contact/About page) might notice that The 1st Five’s home office is in Chattanooga, Tn. Chattanooga is also the hometown of today’s Say Hello To subject, Gravebound. Naturally some will think this a case of hometown nepotism. Yes, these Gravebound are from my home town. Yes, the guys in this band are nice guys. Yes, I might have bought their drummer Integrity onesies for his kids. But Gravebound pass the most important test of all for a music listener. Even if I knew these guys were assholes of an epic degree I would still play the shit out of their tunes. Say that about your friend’s band.
The isolation of living in a small town has imbued Modern Life is War with a spirit of exploratory escapism and blue collar frustration that helped them rise above hardcore cliches and create something special. Gravebound’s caustic bludgeoning is heavily informed by the dusty boxes of power violence and noise 7″s that litter the band member’s bedroom floors, but under the thick layer of grimy production lays the same profound sense of blue collar rage. Work is hard to come by, leaving a lost generation shuffling away at dead in jobs in their twenties while scrimping to pay off debt from collage loans for useless degrees. Gravebound’s Stabbing Contest demo is the soundtrack to a mid-twenties meltdown upon the chilling realization that the American dream you were raised to believe in since birth has been outsourced and the best our leaders can come up with in response is suggesting you strive for a job at McDonalds.
Stabbing Contest is most assuredly an ugly listen, but it’s one that will find listeners of different normally exclusive genres nodding their heads with a grin. Think of Swans producing an early Trash Talk demo or a melodic hardcore version of Spazz. Either way, check it out. Since the physical copies of Stabbing Contest nearly gone, the band has given their blessing to post a download of the release. Grab your copy here, then hit the band up on Myspace if you’d like to get one of the last tapes or if you want them to come play your home town.