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“With touring, your job is actually to drive for eight hours. The pay is you get to play.” Or so says Lou Poster, singer/guitar slinger for Columbus, Ohio chug rockers Grafton. Talk about “getting it.” No, not getting it like broad-bedding or some lost 80s flick on 3am USA. Actually, flip to USA at 3am these days and it’s mostly infomercials. The whole dank landscape of info-getting and entertainment “options” has mind-melded most into automatons lookin’ to get their oil fix and just keep creaking along. Whereas these Grafton boys avoid American idolization, and intrinsically understand the life force equation of making music: gather pals, swallow beer, write songs, tour lots, nurse hangover, repeat when necessary.

Like let’s face it — you can point your index digit at downloading, evil corporate labels, video games, etc. But the situation is the whole old rock band career tract is a mess o’ dashed dreams, bad contracts, and icky egos. So as usual, the best ider is to play, work up a fan base, and numero einz — have a ball with your pals cuz the Grim Reaper’s getting antsy and gives fuck all about matching red and white outfits, Vans sponsorships, or industry “buzz”.

Yup, death fear, abyss-avoiding — that dirty lil’ secret of nigh on five decades of R’n’R “fun” — stumbles around Grafton’s noise just as sure as the bruised boogie riffs, smashing drums, and punk rock fury of their growing indie infamy. Since their ‘96 inception as a chopped folk duo through to their bass-adding, foot-stomping ‘99 engourgement, they’ve toured throughout the Midwest and east coast. And recently they survived their fourth west coast swing, y’know that area of the country where they pretend to dismiss us heartlanders’ hops-swiggin’ hard rockin’ ways, but nonetheless gave Grafton their best reception yet.

Though it does point up a large chunk of Grafton’s raison d’rock: having fun. No doubt their vibe is loaded with coal town sludge, hometown boredom, relationship bitching, and general dark clouds with a chance of shit-kicking. But notice that most of the time the boys are laughing as they fuck up the song endings. They genuinely appreciate those 2 guys that returned from the last Morgantown show. And on their latest and greatest CD, BLIND HORSE CAMPAIGN (after 2 singles and a long player), you can seperate yourself from the pummling live blast via a raw but explosive redcording that exposes the sturdy hooks in the rocky depths, plus some weird ryhthms you didn’t expect, did you?

Grafton is smarter than your average flanneled alt rockers, harder workers too. So quit missing them, ditch the sitcom world, and groove to the “getting it” sound of Grafton.

— Eric Davidson, Columbus, OH, 1/03

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