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45 Grave - Sleep in Safety - Enigma - Restless Records Print E-mail
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Written by Jay Creepy   
Saturday, 22 June 2019

45 Grave Logo

45 Grave Album Sleep in Safety

BAND: 45 Grave
ALBUM: Sleep in Safety
MEMBERS: Dinah Cancer (Vocals), Paul B Cutler (Guitar, Keyboards, Vocals), Rob Graves (Bass, Vocals), Don Bolles (Drums)
YEAR: 1983
COUNTRY: USA
RECORDED: Capitol Studios, Hollywood
PRODUCED BY: Craig Leon, Paul B Cutler
MASTERING: Craig Leon
ARTWORK: Paul B Cutler, Rick Van Santen
RUNTIME: 41.47

LABEL: Enigma (Reissue by Restless Records – 1993)


Track Listing:
1. INSURANCE FROM GOD
2. EVIL
3. PARTY TIME
4. VIOLENT WORLD
5. SLICE O' LIFE
6. PHANTOMS
7. DREAM HITS II
8. BAD LOVE
9. SURF BAT
10. PROCESSION
11. 45 GRAVE

I suppose it's not too bad to be remembered for one song. 45 Grave  will probably be forever be crucified to history with the infamous, Party Time, courtesy of Return of the Living Dead (and the song featured in a few other movies - it's catchy, oh so very catchy.

Yet the band hatched and bled many other classy raw punk in a Cramps kind of way but actually far more brutal in the sound akin to The Damned. 45 Grave drew influence from the horror genre to create some lavish gothic tunes with an unapologetic nasty ring. Formed in the late '70s, they were part of a mass army of punk bands who hadn't been soiled and tainted by the mainstream just yet. Pure uncut power and a fist in the air.

Beginning with a lengthy and really atmosphere building keyboard, Insurance from God starts us off. Dinah Cancer is one of the greatest female yellers and delivers creepy vocals, then punctuates with a breathless yelping delivery soon after. The guitars plus drums change and the transition is gloriously nice. Slow, fast hammering, slow again, then fast. What is so cool is the recording. Muddy and grubby. It's like listening to some fucked up angry band rehearsing in a small sweaty room filled with graffiti and beer cans. The way Dinah can strip away her screams to lovingly sneer; “Wouldn't you like to come with me...Insurance from God is like two songs stapled and tied together which makes this welcoming for the album, like a gateway into a dark dingy hangout.

Evil has an intro which reminded me of the opening to Dead Kennedys' Holiday in Cambodia, and that isn't a bad thing. “Come on babe, let's fight! Ha Ha Haaaa!” screams Dinah and this song just oozes unpolished dirty club noise. Then along comes the original and to my ears, far superior, Party Time. Like track one, there is a gradual build up, climaxing in a head nodding foot stomping slower version and Dinah cackles insanely with glee whilst there's some worrying out of cue banging going down here and there. Slowed down you're able to hear word by word the graphic description of a five year old girl tortured and killed by “her Mom and friend.” How many people picked up on that whilst listening to the lyrically altered ROTLD version? The genesis of that track wasn't a nice place to be.

Violent World is up-tempo but thrashing out some guitar mayhem, close to metal but filled with aggressive punk spit and sweat. Slice O' Life has Dinah take a step back as one of the lads takes over and a very harmony filled chorus. Later on, Surf Bat is very tongue in rotted cheek as we have a bit of surf rock instrumental done in a crazy and comical way. Pogo dance time!

Procession is my personal favourite. A chugging guitar and the drums are so rolling and deeply driving nails into your brain. “Late at night she awakes, arising from her tomb! Late at night she walks the streets, she comes in search of you!” So horror chiller '60s it wouldn't be out of place sung by Roky Erickson (see review here).

So the final track, self titled, kind of starts weak, very very influenced by other bands, I felt deflated. However, around the 1.40 mark, it all slows and those keys come in. What a spectacular way to end the album.

Overall, 45 Grave  are constantly inventive, the music doesn't stick to a formula, in fact so many transitions and alternations are refreshing. In many sections, you can really feel something crawl over your skin because parts of the album are almost beautiful that you receive a coating of goosebumps for your pleasure. It's the keyboard work and of course, Dinah's voice. She stands with Suzi Quatro and Poly Styrene as the most passionate and outstanding females in a mainly male dominated realm. Also, 45 Grave  aren't afraid of long guitar or keyboard solos because the band can play well and tight.

Late '70s and early '80s punk has that feel, that...oh, you know, the feeling if you appreciate it. To find a band who lifts so much from horror movies is an added bonus, seek this one out and let Dinah lick your ears.

Here's an old live version of Evil... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1YDadIF8tA

Plus my fave tune, Procession.... https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nID6Max8cpw

 RATING:
 ALBUM: 1 
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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

Last Updated ( Saturday, 22 June 2019 )
 
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