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45 Grave, along side The Damned, TSOL, and The Misfits, were one of the progenitors of the punk scene in the early ‘80s, meshing Gothic looks, haunting melodies, venomous vocal outbursts, and a dark sense of humor to boot, and sparking the death rock genre. They met their demise after a member’s overdose in 1991, but lead singer Dinah Cancer has recruited a whole new crew and is making a comeback, sparking this re-release. Capturing the band at its essence at a live performance from Hollywood circa 1988, ONLY THE GOOD DIE YOUNG puts you in the front row for the entire 16 song set, and while their take on the jazz classic “Take Five” is damn near unlistenable, 45 Grave more than makes up for it with repeated shots of pre-riot grrrl angst, crossover riffs that still stand up today, and the commandeering attitude of punk rock that gels it together on cuts like “Party Time”, “Bad Love”, and “Dream Hits”. Wanna see where bands like Hole, AFI, and countless others have gotten its groove from? Look no further than this band’s live disc that, if nothing else serves as a history lesson of the origins of the death rock scene as well as the early punk rock from the left coast.
- Mike SOS