Local music: Grafton

Staff Writer
Columbus Alive

A decade ago, Grafton's early career as barebones garage punk hellraisers culminated in the self-titled debut Lou Poster had always imagined.

"This first record, that's the one I started envisioning from the time I was 19," said Poster, Grafton's guitarist, singer and mastermind.

Two lineup changes and three records later, Poster and drummer Jason McKiernan will reunite with original bassist Donovan Roth on Friday to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the debut, 15 years as a band and Poster's 35th birthday.

They'll play the entire LP on Friday, hearkening to when they were young guns of Columbus rock.

"It's more a celebration that we're still alive," McKiernan said.

Poster relocated to Columbus in 1995 and moved in with McKiernan the following year. Soon they were bashing out bluesy punk rock inspired by Columbus duo The Hairy Patt Band. Gaunt's searing pop-punk, Gibson Bros.' howlin' stomp and Monster Truck Five's churlish noise-mongering were in the mix too.

"All those bands that we were into were the guys that we were afraid of at the bar," Poster said.

Roth joined in 1998, and by the turn of the century they recorded their debut at Jon Chinn's original Workbook Studio.

On "Grafton," the band's exuberance was as evident as their Midwest malaise. It's as angry as Grafton's later works but bursting with optimism that hadn't yet been soured by miserable tours.

"About the tenth tour, finally there were some shows where we didn't play just to the sound man," Roth said.

The road took its toll on band relations, and Roth split. Friday will mark his first show with Grafton since 2004.

The album being celebrated won't be on sale. Poster suggests scouring Used Kids.

"I don't even have a copy of it," Roth said. "If anybody's got a copy, they can bring it and sell it - to me!"


10 p.m. Friday, April 1

The Summit

2210 Summit St., Campus