Album Review: We Are The Union – “Graveyard Grins” EP

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Since their formation in 2005, Detroit ska-ish punkers, We Are The Union, have become a force to be reckoned with and their newest EP, “Graveyard Grins,” doesn’t shy away from the band’s usual greatness. Clocking in at a little over 10 minutes, the EP features 3 brand new songs and a cover of the Descendents‘ classic, “Thank You,” and it packs a punch of ska/punk magnificence that’ll leave you begging for more.

The first track, “If I Can’t Smoke or Swear I’m Fucked,” is a song about letting your addictions define you. It’s filled with shredding guitar solos, rapid drum beats, and horn parts that remind me of “Anthem”-era Less Than Jake.  This tune is an instant classic and my personal favorite of all the tracks on “Graveyard Grins.”

Next up is “Do What You Love…,” which is about destroying anything that stands in the way of you completing your goals, or as the band says, “becoming a cannon ball.” The epic horn parts ensue, and a drum part that is more versatile than that of the song’s predecessor’s drums makes an appearance and differentiates the sound of this EP.

The next song, “…And Fuck The Rest,” starts off right where “Do What You Love…” left off. Though it’s only a Reggae-like instrumental, the amped-up blasts or energy that the band adds to this tune make it 10 times better. At first, the thought of an instrumental being used in a 4-song EP was kind of lame but, in a way, this song is almost like a second ending for “Do What You Love…,” and along with that, the two tracks flow perfectly from one to another.

To put the icing on the cake that is “Graveyard Grins,” We Are The Union recorded a bad ass, and very impressive cover of a Descendents classic, “Thank You,” which also features a triumphant-sounding horn part that works extremely well with the song. To bring the EP to a close, the band added in an 8-bit version of the song’s original ending.

I give “Graveyard Grins” a 3-star rating because, even though it kicks ass, I wish it was longer. (That’s what she said!) The 3 new songs and the cover of “Thank You” are all great, and I’d recommend any fans of Less Than Jake, or Descendents give this EP a listen.

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