Wednesday, February 1, 2012


If you tried to whittle down what makes a garage band a great garage band, your first priorities might be fuzz, a driving beat, and snotty lyrics. The Gravedigger V had all of that, but they also had a few of the the intangibles that other bands in the second wave of garage bands in the 80s didn't. First of all, they had youth. They were in their teens when the band started, with the lead singer Leighton Koizumi all of sixteen. Because of their relative inexperience, they were technically crude. They did start in an actual garage, and the recordings they left behind were relatively raw and poorly mixed, which brings to mind some of the more obscure regional garage records from the 60s that collectors go nuts over. But the biggee, the secret ingredient if you will, was the voice of Leighton Koizumi. He was a punk, literally, in the old school non-musical vein. His snotty delivery is about as cocky as they come. And to think that he was roughly seventeen when the songs below were recorded. Listen to "No Good Woman," right before the guitar solo, when he quips "Yeah baby, you're ugly!" followed be a "Waaaahhh!" And, pardon me for being over analytical, just listen too the perfectly placed, perfectly grunted "Uuugh!" immediately following the solo. Remind yourself that this guy is barely out of high school. Punk kid.

The Gravedigger V - No Good Woman mp3 at Api.ning
The Gravedigger V - She Got mp3 at Mr. Suave
The Gravedigger V - Be A Caveman (streaming) at Flower Bomb Songs
The Gravedigger V - All Black and Hairy (streaming) at YouTube
The Gravedigger V - Don't Tread On Me (Live, 2010) at YouTube
The Gravedigger V at Facebook
The Gravedigger V at Wikipedia


Espen E. said...

You may already be aware, but Gravedigger V (well, Koizumi backed by a mixed bag of Spanish/Italian garage nuts – but very capable nuts) have been doing some dates in Europe for the last couple years or so (are apparently playing Hamburg at the end of the month –…

Had the pleasure myself of supporting this version of Gravedigger V about a year ago, as they passed through (or more precisely, probably made a detour to) my hometown (

Still snotty, but for someone who can look back on a 10-year stint for drug/kidnaping offenses - as I found out just before the gig - Leighton K. turned out to be both enlightened and down-to-earth… and not least; had a healthy sense of humor.


Tom G. said...

Dang me, Espen, small world, eh? Hey, checked out your band, really digging it. Have you guys anything that I can buy online? Downloads, vinyl or anything?

Tonight's post was for the both of you. Just because you seem to have a cool bond.:

espen e. said...

Hi Tom! Glad you appreciate our humble efforts! Even though band has been around on and off (mostly off) since '99, doing somewhat reworked versions of Nuggets-style garage rock classics, we still haven't released anything – Still; have a ton of various recordings, 'cause there's always been plans of putting something together, and I should probably concentrate on getting that done within the year – will give you a word when the mixes are done…

But: I/we did have a band before this – The Tranceplants, a project basically influenced by The Cramps, but with maybe more of a fast-paced Dead Kennedys feel (sort-of)… Anyway, we managed to put out a couple CD's and a 7" (funnily enough, Jello Biafra picked up some copies while in town for a gig, years and years ago), so if you're interested, send me an e-mail and I'll ship them to you (cost-free). My e-mail is…