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GRADUATING LIFE • II (Black Inside Royal Blue Vinyl) • LP

GRADUATING LIFE • II (Black Inside Royal Blue Vinyl) • LP

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Pure Noise Records

Black inside Royal Blue Vinyl - limited to 500 copies

The brainchild of Mom Jeans guitarist Bart Thompson, Graduating Life deal in a sometimes gruff, sometimes slick take on pop-punk. There’s plenty of Say Anything-esque poeticism going on across new LP II, but so too are there nods from Bart to acts as diverse as The Academy Is and Jeff Rosenstock. And no matter what musical avenue the band wander down on this album, they always stumble across a win.

Opening track Photo Album’s decision to contrast jaunty instrumentation with dark lyrics suggests the record is very much headed down the Say Anything-meets-Jeff Rosenstock path, which would be perfectly fine in and of itself, but then Graduating Life mix the neon-inflected alt.pop of early twenty one pilots with pop-punk on the excellent In The Back. Similarly, Crushed_Smothered springs a surprise as it takes a turn away from pop-punk towards a raucous, synth-driven rock'n'roll mid-section that sets the scene for a rollicking conclusion. There’s also room for a ballad or two, with emotional penultimate track 19 Stars characterised by euphoric guitars and an outro full of 'na na’s, while closing acoustic number I Wrote You This Song is demonstrative of the charm and heart on offer from Bart throughout.

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