For some weird reason I think I wanted to dislike Anhedonia, by The Graduate. There was no logic to such thinking, really. More than anything I think such sentiments are just proof that I’m already an old cranky guy at the age of 35, and that modern bands don’t usually float my boat.
Luckily, I’m not asked to write reviews on preconceptions, and once I spun Anhedonia in my stereo and iPod for a few dozen listens, I’ve decided that my preconceptualizer fuse needs to be replaced, because this is a darn good album.
Granted, The Graduate aren’t the most original sound to come down the mountains in the past few years, but, to be fair, they aren't trying to be. Anhedonia is nothing more or less than the sound of a new band stretching its legs and jumping in as they take a few laps in the swimming pool of the current music scene. Perhaps, as this is their full-length debut, the fact they are able to not only stay afloat, but easily keep up with (if not pass up) many of the bands making up said music scene, is something to be applauded.
Not every rock band has to blast onto the scene as something amazing and new. No, occasionally it is very nice to see a good band come out from the gates with a really good album, instead. It is that kind of band, you see, that might have the chance to become one of the very lucky few modern bands that get a chance to grow and evolve into something special.
While Springsteen was none too shabby on his debut album, for instance, he certainly didn’t have “Born to Run” in him, right from the get-go.
Tinged with an interesting amount of electronic flavor, Anhedonia is a smart album full of catchy riffs, clever lyrics, and a healthy sense of musicianship. Standouts from the twelve tracks include “The City that Reads,” “Stay the Same,” and “Sing”.
Hopefully The Graduate are able to take what they’ve done on this album, add to it the experiences they must be having in front of live audiences, and evolve. Sure, it’s not shabby simply being a good rock band nowadays, but when one seemingly has all the ingredients of eventually becoming a damned good one, it makes the music geek in me want to dance for joy.
Take a chance on Anhedonia, okay? Maybe then we can share seats on the sidelines as we cheer The Graduate on, in hopes they not only put out work as good as this album, but a careers worth of even better.
Tracklisting for Anhedonia, by The Graduate:
01. Sit & Sink
02. I Survived
03. Bet It All
05. The City That Reads
06. Better Company
07. Surround Yourself
10. Stay The Same