Thanks to Graduating Life’s debut album An Introduction To Rock And Roll–which touched down to Earth on July 7, 2017 like a pulsing, burning asteroid–our planet spins a bit faster with an urgency to recklessly cherish life for what it is and the real ones around you “while you still can.” Fresno’s very own Bart Starr (along with some of his ride-or-die homies) has delivered his magnum opus to date, and it’s definitely not intended for half-ass listeners.
After teasing us with three solid EPs plus a split with Mom Jeans, Graduating Life presents us with a full length 11-track masterpiece that absolutely cannot be missed. Seriously, if you sleep on this record, you’re missing out BIG time.
The album kicks off with a playful yet epic introduction track featuring Sam Kless from Just Friends and promptly launches you on an audio-emotional roller coaster. Heaving from start to finish with catchy guitar leads, energetic hard-hitting drums, ever-evolving rock riffs, and countless little one-off moments, there is not a single dull instant on this record. It will have you singing along cheerily to some of life’s bleak realities as told by Bart–the central mantra being “everyone that you love will die,” and yes, that (hopefully) includes you too.
Bart doing his thing. PC: Joey Tobin @JoeyTobinPhoto
Confronting subjects like what really happens after death, the endless struggle to keep your dreams alive, and the realization that life is pointless, this record either packs a punch, a slap to the face or a combination of both in each track. True, this all sounds depressing–and it is–but Graduating Life’s musical attitude and vocal fervor approach these hard-to-swallow truths with infectious charm and bold-faced vulnerability, and by the end of it all you can’t help but scroll up to the beginning and press play all over again.
An Introduction To Rock And Roll was born into the world by production power duo Ryan Ellery and James Trevascus (responsible for releases by Just Friends and Mom Jeans), and much like prior releases that these two have worked on, this record is hardly a mere peek into the life and times of the artist. It’s pretty damn close to actually experiencing Bart in person.
When asked what drove him to write this record, Bart responded: “I had a feeling this would be like my last thing I recorded cause I’m burnt out on music, so I tried to go all out and write something that I could be 100% proud of and happy with.”
Graduating Life is currently on tour with Mom Jeans until the end of July so do yourself a favor, check out their bandcamp for show dates and locations, and get this record!!!
FFO: Say Anything, Jeff Rosenstock, Blink-182