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The Graduate

Who? Emerging in November 2005 out of the dissolution of two relatively popular central Illinois bands (Best of Winter and Jack), indie rock quintet the Graduate made quick their ascent past just garnering local notice. The Springfield crew — featuring drummer Tim Moore, vocalist Corey Warning, guitarist/keyboardist Matt Kennedy, guitarist Max Sauer, and bassist Jared Wuestenberg — independently released their debut, the Horror Show EP, in the spring of 2006, and graced the cover of CMJ magazine by the year’s end. A freshly inked deal with Icon MES kept the momentum (and rising buzz) going, all leading nicely into next Tuesday’s (April 10) release of their full-length Anhedonia.

What’s the Deal? The Graduate might run with the emo crowd (they’ve got the confessional lyrics to prove it), but Anhedonia luckily favors digestible and wholly grounded pop/rock hooks over the smug self-awareness and glossy sheen enamoring many of the band’s peers. The expert touch of producer Brian McTernan (Thrice, the Movielife) should be thanked, but so also should the Graduate’s basic ability to write catchy songs. “The City That Reads” is an emotive ode to loneliness that’s more stirring than dejected, while the effervescent “Justified” sounds like a cross between early Midtown and Hot Rod Circuit.

Fun Fact: Though he may throw around occasional S.A.T. words (anhedonia is the inability to experience pleasure), Corey Warning actually dropped out of college to pursue the rock’n’roll dream, starting off by selling merch for fellow Illinoisans, the Forecast. COREY APAR

Now Hear This: The Graduate – “Sit and Sink” DOWNLOAD MP3

On the Web: The Graduate at MySpace

Talk: Does the Graduate earn high honors or are remedial classes in order?