Making the Grade

Making the Grade

by Diffuser
5.0 4

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Overview

Making the Grade

Among its energetic bursts of poppy, punkish energy, Diffuser's 2001 effort, Injury Loves Melody, still clung to vestiges of the band's noisier indie rock past. It made for a more ambitious record, but one also fraught with continuity errors -- Diffuser couldn't decide whether they wanted to go all-out with the pop screech. If that was the case, then frontman Tomas Costanza has finally made the decision and taken the pop plunge. He's the sole songwriter for Making the Grade, and has turned in a completely unthreatening, tinfoil-and-plastic batch of songs about girls and sarcasm, all amped to 11 and akin to the outsized modern rock of types like Lit and Goldfinger. Actually, with perfect pop-punk anthems like "Here's to You" and "New High" rushing past in a blur of pep, catch phrases, and giddy power chords, it's tempting to compare Diffuser to the ready-made mall punk of youngsters like Simple Plan. But Costanza's a little older than those guys, even if he doesn't want to admit it, and that age buffer means his band's decidedly young-skewed music is trashy and immediate, but not simply opportunistic. It's blatantly a product of the now, but Diffuser seems committed to the material, and that's important. The highlight is the unstoppable "Get It On"; it's another entry in the party train of pop songs dedicated to naughty crushes, a locomotive most recently restarted by Fountains of Wayne. Producer/mixer Mark Trombino also deserves mention here, as he's filled in Costanza's songwriting gaps with enormous guitar tones, slick harmonies, and the occasional string section. There's a slim chance Making the Grade will make much of an impact beyond its initial shelf life. But while it's switched on, feel free to bang on the steering wheel.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/15/2003
Label: Hollywood Records
UPC: 0720616238221
catalogNumber: 162382

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Diffuser   Primary Artist,Guitar,Electric Bass,Drums
Mark Trombino   Drums
Mike Fitzmaurice   scratching
Anthony Cangelosi   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Tomas Costanza   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Roland Jenster   Piano,Accordion
Peter Schojan   Bass,Vocals,Group Member
Dan Leo   Drums,Vocals,Group Member

Technical Credits

Suzie Katayama   String Arrangements
Mark Trombino   Producer,Engineering
Peter Malkin   Management
Enny Joo   Art Direction
Anthony Cangelosi   Composer,Art Direction
J.P. "Thunderbolt" Patterson   Producer
Diffuser   Amplifiers
Justin Stephens   Cover Photo
Paul Alicata   Business Consultant
Ken Fermaglich   Booking
Tomas Costanza   Composer
Nick Ferrara   Legal Advisor
Debra Herman   Management
Benno Nelson   Video Director
Kelly Norris Sarno   Executive Producer
Jeff Worob   Legal Advisor
Jonna Sallinen   Producer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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Making the Grade 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is one of the best I've heard in awhile. If you've been a fan of the earlier Diffuser sound ('Injury Loves Melody'), 'Making the Grade' definitely still has all (if not better) of the ILM qualities: fantastic lyrics, great harmonies and masterful playing of instruments. Each song will get stuck in your head for days and you'll actually be glad to have it there. If you're into the Foo Fighters... Simple Plan.. and other type of pop rock bands, then you'll love Diffuser.
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you like the new more upbeat punk or melodical rock, you will love Diffsuer "Making the Grade". This CD is one you should buy if you like the above listed types. With songs like "New High", "Get It On" and "I Wonder" you will soon come to love this CD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great band and they need to keep on rocking.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I listen to all types of music. I love diffuser, it sounds to me like they really worked hard on this album- it came out shining like a diamond. I first heard them on the "Freaky Friday" soundtrack. I took a gamble and bought the cd on an impulse and I LOVE IT! I listen to it all the time on my way to and from school (a half an hour drive).