Reality bites!

Hailing from Norwich, Gravedale High play solid Punk music, however the five band members share a morbid fascination with all things that go bump in the night as the lyrical content could be the soundtrack to the Hammer Horror movies. Indeed the band's name comes from Rick Moranis' cartoon of the same name in the early 90's about a lad who is the only human in a school full of classic movie monsters.

Nightbreed starts with fast-paced riffs and then Adrian's gruff vocals kick in and you know that you are in for a musical ass-kicking. There is a wonderful change in pace halfway through a little like White Zombie. Next we have a slightly more punk feel of an early Alkaline Trio with My Name Is Jack, before the straight-up-Punk of album title track G.S.O.H. that is the story of boy meets ghoul...and along the same musical line we have Rather Be Dead, that whilst starts off like it may be a retro opening to an old Flying Pickets a cappella harmony, shoots into the song blazing with chugging guitars and catchy vocals. There is a nice drum-beat to the start of the well-constructed Lover's Bite, before the slightly mediocre ballad Ballad For Brains - musically it has a lovely piano, however Adrian's vocals are not made for this slow piano/vocals at the beginning, they are more at home shouting out as he does thankfully after a minute of this song.

Dropping in from another planet is the 80's punk-sounding Creature From Outer Space, that has a nice chunky bass-line in the second verse, whilst we have some Thrash-sounding Metal in Living The Dead Way a little like Suicidal Tendencies, before the great, ...A Better Life which musically stands out even before you hear any vocals or lyrics. "Decapitation is always an option!" we are told a number of times throughout the song, which is good advice if you ever feel yourself beginning to lose you head...

Elsewhere we have the line "Never get out alive!" in the Jaws influenced Megalodon, and the roughed-up-Ramones of Back To School, before the last song Bringing You To Life which again has that high-tempo pace that flickers between Punk and Thrash proving just how good this band is with their adrenaline-fuelled Rock.

I am a sucker for horror imagery and Punk rock music so this should've been audio perfection for me, and whilst it fell a little short of that, this is still a good solid Punk album. Bands like this that mix Rock music with Horror usually fall into the Psychobilly, Shockabilly, Punkabilly, or what-have-you, and therefore embracing fully the sound of the B-movies, so to move away from this is either bold and daring, or naive and risky - I guess Gravedale High fall somewhere between the two! What I get from this along with some of the research that I have done is that to truly get this band you have to see them live, indeed I am led to believe that the live spectacle includes Jack The Ripper, Aliens and Zombie Cheerleaders - brilliant. I'll leave you with that image...!