Sound — 9
The Graduate possess a sound that is (to my knowledge) exceptionally unique. A distinctive blend of ambient, effect-ridden lead guitar parts with ear catching vocal hooks, and surprisingly out-of-the-ordinary song structures. For a band with a mainstream sort of sound (mostly due to lead vocalist Corey Warning's radio-friendly voice), The Graduate subtly mixes in creative, and often majorly intricate string parts. They use effects to the fullest extent to create almost a different mood with their music.
Lyrics — 8
Lyrically, The Graduate is nothing spectacular, but far and away more lyrically mindful than most bands on MTV and radio waves. The EP covers a variety of song topics, from dysfunctional relationships ("Sit & Sink") to party songs ("This Is To Fire"). Corey Warning (vocalist, lyricist) is fantastic at conceiving melodies that get stuck in your head; in a good way.
Overall Impression — 9
This CD is short (a 6 song EP), and the band is set to release their debut full length, "Anhedonia", April 10 with Icon MES. But despite only having 6 tracks, this CD is a breath of fresh air from a music scene crowded with talentless bands. The Graduate is energetic, creative, and talented. The best tracks on this CD are definitely "Confidence Is Everything" and "The Formula". The CD is more of an experience than an EP. It's an emotional ride from start to finish, filled both with melancholy tracks ("Ride It Out"), and good time tracks ("Justified"). The Graduate self-released this EP, and if you would like to purchase it, you can find it on iTunes or Smartpunk. They'll also be on Warped Tour all summer. These guys are really going places, look out for them in the near future.