Anhedonia review by The Graduate

logo Ultimate Guitar
  • Released: Apr 10, 2007
  • Sound: 7
  • Lyrics: 8
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.3 Good
  • Users' score: 9.7 (18 votes)
The Graduate: Anhedonia
1

Sound — 7
The Graduate should already have a strong backing thanks to the beauty of college radio. In 2006, its EP Horror Show was named the #1 most added in college radio, not to mention that the band has also graced the cover of CMJ Magazine. So are they worth the hype? The Graduate's debut full-length record Anhedonia does have its moments, but some may find it all a little too familiar. This is not to say that there aren't some inspired and technically interesting moments along the way, particularly from guitarists Matt Kennedy and Max Sauer. The record starts out with what is probably not the best track on Anhedonia called Sit & Sink. Even so, it immediately showcases what are the standout aspects of the band. Sit & Sink will likely find a home in the world of radio or video airplay thanks to vocalist Corey Warnings excellent vocal harmonies that are used throughout. As far as the guitar work is concerned, this is more of a pop-rock band and there aren't any pinch harmonics or manic shredding. Rather, guitarists Kennedy and Sauer tend to play subtle, yet effective riffs that play continuously beneath the verses and choruses. Surround Yourself is a mellower song and takes on a more restrained approach until the buildup at the end. There is an interesting guitar line that is played underneath the chorus, and it finally gets to stand out on it's own in the final seconds of the song. In fact, the guitar almost has a very cool computer-like quality at times and it's fun just trying to figure out how they tackled it, whether with effects or just skill. The guitar line is the highlight of the song because it doesn't necessarily fit with the overall ballad-like approach. There is somewhat of a derivation of that same guitar riff in the following song Interlude, which fades in softly add slowly. Interlude works as a perfect follow-up to Surround Yourself because of the similar guitar styles, and it is further strengthened by haunting background vocals in a minor key that are layered on top of it all. The band really shines with this kind of experimentation and will hopefully do more interludes on the next album.

Lyrics — 8
The Graduate does have a heavy share of, dare I say, emo-esque lyrics, but they balance those out with some interesting songs like Doppelganger, which takes on a very different situation. Doppelganger features a scene where the singer seems to be unsure of his surroundings and uses dialogue to convey his confusion. Warning sings, And a stranger cried out, 'What am I doing here?' I'll be damned, you brought the muscle in! It's a pretty puzzling scene, but the different lyrical format makes it one of the most intriguing songs on the record. Surround Yourself is one of tracks that delve into love and introspection, and the themes may grate one some listeners' nerves. Warning sings, On our walk Saturday; You said you might not stay; If you had a chance to see how your life would look; With love for someone constantly -- would it still be me? Although some might find them a bit too sentimental, there are still plenty will appreciate these candid, emotional lyrics.

Overall Impression — 7
The Graduate will most definitely attract it's share of fans with its radio-friendly repertoire (and it already has). At times that means they can sound a bit too much like what is already out there, but with unique little additions like Interlude (which is exactly that and has no words) the band proves that it's not afraid to take few risks. Vocalist Warning has a very pleasing voice and excels in harmonies, and in many cases that ability makes the weaker songs a bit more attention grabbing. Guitarists Kennedy and Sauer deserve the most credit for taking the album to a different level. They do succeed at creating several memorable moments along the way, and the band will hopefully bring their work even more into the forefront come the next release.

8 comments sorted by best / new / date

    dpatrickguy
    i think review doesn't do them credit. this cd is amazing. it's pop rock but a hell of a lot better than most. Plus the bassist and drummer are damn good. The bass on stay the same is awesome.
    gunsn'pjs
    there from my town...there singer is an ***** but i have to admit this is a pretty good cd
    BassNewbie
    Sit and sink sounds like they took the riff from the fall of troy and one of there titles are the name of a fall of troy cd...
    AloneInMyPlace
    I love the CD. This review does not do the CD justice. I'm just wondering, did anybody else notice the Best of Winter lyric that Corey stuck in Doppelganger?
    u_know_me
    This cd is awesome! All of the musicians in this band totally rock! Go buy this cd. You won't be disappointed!
    sam42004
    AloneInMyPlace wrote: I'm just wondering, did anybody else notice the Best of Winter lyric that Corey stuck in Doppelganger?
    yeah i liked it though, brings the old fans back to the old days.
    AloneInMyPlace
    sam42004 wrote: AloneInMyPlace wrote: I'm just wondering, did anybody else notice the Best of Winter lyric that Corey stuck in Doppelganger? yeah i liked it though, brings the old fans back to the old days.
    I totally agree, I'm glad it's there
    salmarnirecho
    BassNewbie wrote: Sit and sink sounds like they took the riff from the fall of troy and one of there titles are the name of a fall of troy cd...
    Well, that effect maybe the same in both songs, but you'll find that it's a recurring effect throughout The Graduate CD, while Fall of Troy only uses it in that one song really. And then Doppelganger is an actual word, not just a title of the Fall of Troy CD. just saying, didn't know if you knew or not.