Graduating Life and Save Face bring A game to 4-song split

Joel Thompson

Off the backs of their 2018 albums, emo powerhouses Graduating Life and Save Face released a four-song split EP together on Sept. 12.

After releasing “Grad Life” and “Merci” respectively, the bands decided to collaborate. Both albums were met with good reviews by critics and were adored by fans.

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The split contains two songs from each band: one original and one cover. Save Face’s original is “Bummer,” and their cover is “Teenagers” by My Chemical Romance. Grad Life’s original is “Wonderful,” while their cover is “Heart A Tact” by Kid Dynamite.

All of the songs are top quality. The two original songs display progress from the bands’ last releases and are two of their best, respectively. The covers are both extremely good, but that is only due to the unexpectedness of their appearance. They are maybe even better than the other two tracks.

Save Face’s cover of “Teenagers” especially stands out. The theatrical nature of Save Face is reminiscent of the early 2000s band My Chemical Romance, making a cover nearly perfect. Save Face, while executing a cover in the same vein of MCR, still adds their own flare. A sense of increased instability and added aggression stems from the screaming background vocals, the stylized lead vocals and a few production elements.

The song choice for Graduating Life’s cover song also perfectly aligns with their band’s style for their version of “Heart A Tact.”  If you hadn’t heard the original song, you most likely would think this was a Graduating Life original. The lead singer, Bart Thompson, belts out the introduction with punk perfect delivery, and the classic emo riffs and attitude are perfect for the band.

“Bummer” is a classic Save Face song and one of their best. Their song structures continue to grow more complex and intriguing as they pick up influence from other genres, shown in this song by the classic rock-reminiscent rippage. Tyler Povanda, lead singer of Save Face, has a way of bringing you in with his vocals.

Graduating Life’s “Wonderful” is a song that embraces one of the band’s neglected strong suits. The simple but empowering chorus combined with fast delivery of the verses is something that Thompson excels at. The brass instruments that support the vocals are the perfect accompaniment for the grand feel the song has to offer.

To gain recognition for the split, Save Face released a music video for “Bummer,” which includes cameos of their friends, such as the band Just Friends. In addition to the music video, Povanda and Thompson are driving across the country and answering questions from fans to promote the split.

Both bands are impressive in their own regard, but this collaboration and the possibility of a future tour is exciting. Before this split, both were closely connected, but this release is hopefully the first of many.

Despite the consistent quality of their discography, the bands are still relatively unknown. If you have any interest in the music of the rock ‘n’ roll persuasion, check them out. They might take a second to get acquainted with, but they are both artists of extremely high quality.

Rating: 8/10

Graduating Life: Instagram: @graduatinglife Twitter: @graduatinglife, Apple Music, Spotify
Save Face: Instagram: @savefacenj Twitter: @savefacenj, Apple Music, Spotify

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Joel Thompson can be reached at entertainment@collegian.com or on Twitter @probably_joel