Photo by Shawn Scallen

SongoftheDay: OBSTACLES by GRAVE CONCERN (find 6:56 for song)

A typical prayer I would say during the mid 80’s:
“Dear God, Baby Jesus, Satan, Gandhi or who ever is in charge. Thanks for Black Sabbath. I love that shit but I kinda want something heavier and more aggressive. Some pals at school have been lending me their punk rock cassettes Grave Concern (Ottawa) - Approach With Cautionbut it isn’t really quite doing it for me. I mean I love the Dead Kennedy’s, Forgotten Rebels and the Exploited, but it all kinda just sounds like Johnny B Goode sped up a bit. I’m looking for something super fast with wicked riffs, you know stuff that would be cool to skateboard to. Oh ya funny lyrics would be a bonus, but enlightened political messages are also welcomed – I’m totally against war, acid rain & I’m pretty good at this recycling thing. If you can hook me up I promise I will never beat-off again. – thanks”

Well I didn’t hold up my end of the bargain, but the “creator” totally came through and delivered Thrash/Crossover, a sub genre of metal with a rich history and a bright future. The best example of what I was looking for came about at my very first non-stadium metal/punk show. Ottawa’s Grave Concern blew me away. They had this amazing drummer and the guitar player was a pro skateboarder that had been in Transworld Skateboarding magazine. Their cassette “Approach with Caution” even had a skateboarding guy on the cover. Obstacles (6:56) is my fav tune on the tape cause it sounds like the singer Warren Peace is just trying to say all of the vowels as fast as he can. – BLAKE

(Blake Jacobs has been quaking bowels with his riffage for some 25 years now.  Currently, he can be found bashing skulls with his crossover juggernaut World War 4, as well as the occasional alien landing of Manpower.  For most, he can be found greeting patrons with his wizard smile at the amazing arcade-bar House of TARG in Ottawa, Canada.)