The Embarrassing Beginning

by Samuel Barker
June 2, 2001

File Under: Hardcore/Metal/Emo
rating: A-

1. Cripple

2. Punk Rock Song

3. Impulse

4. Hairdie

5. Digga Digga Song

6. Classified

7. Instrumental

8. Entangled

9. Afterthought (demo)

10. The Tension Between Stillness and Motion (demo)

11. Triumph And Tragedy (acoustic version)

12. Stolen Bikes Ride Faster

13. Panama

14. A Year In The Past (radio version)

15. Seamless (acoustic version)

related links
  • Grade
  • Victory Records
  • Sometimes it's best to go back to the beginning to see where a band is coming from. Despite the title, The Embarrassing Beginning, this album is a look at Grade's beginning that should fill this band with a great deal of pride. It's amazing to think it's been 6 years since the "Grade/Believe" Split CD recording sessions. This fact and the music itself makes this an amazing accomplishment. To sum it up easily, these songs are wicked.

    The album opens up with "Cripple" which comes with the same feel as some of the new Grade songs, but then the floor drops out and you're left with an explosive chorus that kicks the album to the next level. It's extremely hard to believe that this band achieved this type of sound and energy in their early recordings.

    The album stays with the hardcore/metal vibe for most of the album. If you are expecting the newer, more evolved Grade you'll be very suprised at what you hear. The end of the CD is more like the Grade I had come to know and love. "Stolen Bikes Ride Faster" is definitely one of my favorite Grade songs after hearing this album.

    The gems of this album are the acoustic tracks. There are few people in this world who could pull off what Grade has pulled off, keeping the power of hardcore in an acoustic song. They still pull off the harsh vocals and even some of the screaming without ever losing you as a listener. These songs also showcased the many talents of the band. There is some great guitar work on the songs. These songs were quite impressive.

    This album was the missing link in the evolution of Grade, and it gives a wonderful view into everything this band can accomplish. They are a talented band who can pull off nearly any sound and come off serious. I wish more bands would be as bold as Grade and release their earlier recordings today for everyone who wasn't there in the "embarrassing beginning."

    Samuel Barker is Senior Editor. Contact him at

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