With the release of their sophomore album – their first since being signed with Razor and Tie Records – the five piece band comprised of Matt Kennedy (guitar, keyboards, vocals), Tim Moore (drums), Max Sauer (guitar, vocals), Corey Warning (vocals), and Jared Wuestenburg (bass) could have taken the opportunity to further fine-tune their sound. Instead, the Chicago-based The Graduate gives us a safe and reserved offering: something to fill the space on our iPods.
Though starting out with the pounding and driving track, “Don’t Die Digging,” what seems promising promptly falls into mediocre and formulaic. But, while staying safely within the confines of convention, Only Every Time is hardly without its gems. Wielding the wistful “Pull Me In,” the energetic, “Make Believe,” and the gripping “For the Missing,” The Graduate does seem to have potential. Perhaps with time and a bit of risk, they can build upon the blueprint of this effort to become something truly original.