Michale Graves Plays Club Europa on Dec. 17th // Return to Earth CD Review ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Michale Graves Plays Club Europa on Dec. 17th // Return to Earth CD Review

Michaele Grave Plays Club Europa on Dec. 17th // Return to Earth CD ReviewMichale Graves originally released the second disc, Return to Earth, under his own name in 2006 and this disc was recently picked up for distribution through MVD Entertainment. I haven’t seen Michale play live since a show a number of years back at L’Amour (which I think was a Web of Dharma show) and then I lost track of him musically after Gotham Road went on hiatus. The only point to mentioning all of this is that I dropped on Return to Earth expecting Michale Graves' solo release to sound like The Misfits as both Web of Dharma and Gotham Road weren’t that far removed.

As compared to Michale Graves’ past work, Return to Earth is somewhat of a mixed bag. On past releases, Graves’ distinctive voice was the centerpiece and most of the songs were melodic, sing-along horror punk. The horror movie themes have stayed but this is much more of a (alt-)rock album than his past work so there is a minimal amount of group vocal melodies and some songs even push Graves’ vocals down to an equal level with the guitars.

"We Wait" and "Our Moment Away" capture the classic Graves sound of the past but the disc makes a number of stylistic jumps. "Creepy Crawl" and "Dead Beat" both sound like they came out of the Seattle grunge era, "Nobody Thinks About Me" is stylistically close to a Nirvana tune and "Return to Earth" is a multi-tracked piano ballad. The disc ends with the introspective tune "Butchershop" which showcases Michale's vocals. While Michale's stylistic jumps can be somewhat disconcerting, he has a lot more vocal prowess than I've ever given him credit for. Return to Earth is a solid release but a little more musical consistency will go a long way toward increasing the staying power of future releases.

Michale Graves is playing Club Europa this Friday, Dec. 17th, with Cryptkeeper 5 and Ignite Violet. Tickets are $10 and doors are at 7PM.

Michale Graves