The Academy Is...
The Academy


2.5
average

Review

by Davey Boy STAFF
July 22nd, 2008 | 16 replies | 4,305 views


Release Date: 2004 | Tracklist

Review Summary: The potential & talent is there and will be spotted by those who are patient. It’s just a shame that this EP is derivative, doesn’t flow well & is bogged down by predominantly being "all talk and no action".

The arts, and entertainment as a whole, generally share many similar attributes. One (more often than not) negative perception that is more likely to occur in motion pictures, television and plays however is the phenomenon of "all talk and no action". How often do you, or someone viewing with you, exclaim something like "hurry up and get to the action” or “stop talking and have something happen"? This rarely occurs in music, but one such occasion where it might is with the debut EP by The Academy (Is...).

How ironic then that the first of 6 tracks on this EP is wordless? Unfortunately, that is not at all a good thing as almost 3 minutes of listening to what appears to sound like someone getting ready in the morning and then having to run somewhere for an unknown reason, is a time-wasting turn-off. Following it up with a 5 minute talk-fest isn't exactly enticing either. Yet, that is what the uninvolving and overlong ‘The Author' does. Vocally and lyrically reliant, this wordy cut is similar to many album tracks from Taking Back Sunday's and Brand New's debut LP's... So much so that this is stamped with the derivative tag. Furthermore, by kicking things off with the weakest 2 tracks, the flow of this EP is completely ineffective… In fact, it is best listened to in reverse order!

A little better than the first 2 cuts is track 3 Judas Kiss', mainly because it is rockier and more up-tempo. However, while there is a bunch of good ideas included, it is all a bit messy really and does not come together to make a totally cohesive song. There is a hint of a very good hook in the chorus which, like the preceding song, will grow on you if given the chance, but it is once more outdone by simply too much (figuratively speaking) talk in the verses. EP closer, the 6 minute 'Absolution' is similar and while suffering from some of the same problems, does a better job of pulling off what the band were looking to achieve.

And what exactly is lead vocalist William Beckett talking about throughout these songs? Well, to be a little vague, nothing and everything all at once. The lyrics contained throughout this album for the most part are in no ways awful, but nor do they stand out as a major selling point in any form either. On the occasions when the lyrics are impressive, the sheer quantity of them drags their effectiveness down. Lyrics must involve the listener somehow when there is so many of them as there are on this EP, but unfortunately that is not always the fact here.

Thankfully, this EP is made passable on the back of the quality contained within tracks 4 and 5. The former, 'In Our Defense', is especially impressive and reminds me of the more effective cuts off of Brand New's 'Your Favorite Weapon' album. The lyrics are finally a strong point as Beckett spouts out a revenge-themed diatribe as if he was Jesse Lacey's twin. The catchiness and the fact that this song is truly memorable and invites repeated listens more than makes up for the fact that this is still derivative stuff.

Penultimate track 'Dear Interceptor' is then the most multi-dimensional piece of the EP, especially from a musical standpoint. Similarly to 'Judas Kiss', this does try to dip its toes into a few too many genres (hints of indie, emo, pop-punk and alt-rock), but somehow succeeds in doing so. Just as impressively is the fact that Beckett changes up his range to effectively convey different emotions throughout the track. Of course, the problem is that it is still all a bit too wordy for my liking.

Ultimately, The Academy EP displays potential and most tracks are at least growers. Optimistic listeners may be able to block out the bad and concentrate on the good, however it falls into a trap that many debut EP’s do of including too much of everything within a limited number of songs. Add to that the fact that the EP is derivative, doesn’t flow well and is predominantly bogged down by being “all talk and no action”, and it is difficult to rate this too highly.

Recommended Tracks: In Our Defense, Dear Interceptor & Absolution.



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user ratings (28)
Chart.
3.4
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 22nd 2008



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Man, this was a tough one to write! It may have been the trickiest I have written so far. I did many many rewrites to try and explain my thoughts as appropriately as possible. Even the rating for it changed between 2 & 3 with seemingly every listen.

SHOOTME
July 22nd 2008



2393 Comments


Happy 40th review man.


Good review, one of your best.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 22nd 2008



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks on both counts Robert (ShootMe), especially the latter as this review was a real bugger to write.
I'm unsure I would count 40 reviews as a milestone, but I will take it. I've got the half-century in my sights.

SHOOTME
July 22nd 2008



2393 Comments


whataburger

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 22nd 2008



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Why'd you have to mention burgers? I'm hungry now!
Ok, maybe "bugger" is a little more Aussie slang than I thought. It is basically a G-Rated "f**ker".

TheStarclassicTreatment
July 22nd 2008



2910 Comments


Nice review. Ok EP.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 22nd 2008



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Thanks Kristopher (TheStarClassicTreatment). I think "ok" is indeed a fair assessment of this EP.
Just took a look at your album ratings page and our musical taste is not too dissimilar by the look of it.
I'm actually a little surprised that so few people have rated/heard this album.

foreverendeared
July 22nd 2008



14678 Comments


i only have Almost Here from these guys. i used to love it back in the day, but i haven't even listened to it in years

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
July 22nd 2008



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

ForeverEndeared, I cannot stress too much how different this EP is from 'Almost Here'. There is very little that is poppy about this EP.

foreverendeared
July 22nd 2008



14678 Comments


hmmm interesting

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2009



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Just saw that these guys have a new EP out. That came from nowhere. It's supposed to be pretty ordinary too.

AtavanHalen
October 8th 2009



17927 Comments


TAI...? Average? Get out of town

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2009



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You love 'em!

Fugue
October 8th 2009



7352 Comments


151 - 40 = 111 reviews since 22nd July '08. I knew you were a fast writer, but yeah...

AtavanHalen
October 8th 2009



17927 Comments


Not really.

DaveyBoy
Staff Reviewer
October 8th 2009



20856 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Now you put it that way Ross, that is a bit scary. 111 divided by 14 months = 8 reviews per month.

And while I have slowed down since making staff, I'm still aiming (so far successfully) to write 5 a month.



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