ACCENT GRAVE - Accent Grave (EP)

Accent Grave - Accent Grave (EP)

5 songs
17:57 minutes
***** ****
(self-released)

Bandpage

I am quite certain that Accent Grave hate to be called a punk rock supergroup, but it is a fact that all four members played pioneering roles in the Luxembourgish underground music scene. Guitarist and vocalist Stephan played in the seminal hardcore band Wounded Knee, other guitarist and vocalist Thierry used to be the drummer with D’Rotzbouwen and lately fronted Lecter MD, bass player Fränz was there from the beginning with Subway Arts and later ska punk band Toxkäpp, while drummer Dirk is best known from dEFDUMp and then moved on to La Fa Connected. So many people, so many bands, so many genres! The question is: what should we expect from Accent Grave?

Stylistically speaking the come closest to Lecter MD, with a kind of melodic punk rock that has its roots in the late Eighties and early Nineties, although the creative addition of Stephan adds a melodic hardcore component, so that especially the songs where he is in charge of the vocals remind me a little of Bad Religion and maybe even traces of NOFX.

The EP starts with the ultra-melodic People Like Me, the only song running under three minutes. Stephan’s vocals have a quality not unlike Greg Graffin. The song is short and simple and comes with a memorable guitar line. The following See The Light is with nearly five minutes the longest cut on the self-titled EP, and this time Thierry is singing. His vocals have a frail quality, but in a good way. He always hits the right notes, but sometimes only barely, giving his performance a true touch of honesty. The songwriting is more complex on this track, not surprising considering the amassed experience of the involved musicians. More catchiness and maybe a bit more hardcore can be discerned on I Love Drugs whose wonderfully nice melody belies the lyrical darkness underlying it. Comin’ Of Age is a melancholic trip down memory lane, and while I am usually wary of nostalgia, I can’t resist the charm of this moving song... possibly because I witnessed some of it first hand: the attic of the Slaughterhouse and Rise from Canada! The EP ends with Hate The Sin But Not The Sinner is another longer track that once again melds melodic hardcore guitars with a straightforward punk catchiness.

Recorded in the band’s rehearsal space, the EP can’t fulfil the usual production standards, but that is only a tiny minor issue when you are in the presence of such grand songwriting. Anyone can found a punk band, but then write songs that touch the heart is a feat that most musicians will never be able to. Accent Grave are the laudable exception to the rule, and it is only a shame that the band has such a low profile currently. Let’s hope that they will play more live shows in the future, and record more of their mesmerising songs.

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