Review Summary: The Academy Is... trying to segue listeners with b-side material.
The Academy Is… is a band that could be grouped with the likes of Motion City Soundtrack and pre-New Surrender
Anberlin. While these bands have all the makings to be mainstream leaders and could possibly stay on top of the charts, somehow their singles have never been able to take off just right. This especially goes for The Academy Is… back in 2005 when the band released their Almost Here
album, an effort that most fans unanimously call their best. However, with 2007 came the somewhat disappointing and experimental Santi
, and the following year saw the band deliver the consistent, albeit generic Fast Times at Barrington High
; both of which in turn have played a key part in slowly bringing down the band’s momentum and seemingly transitioning The Academy Is… into a hit or miss type of pop punk band.
Last month The Academy Is… released Lost In Pacific Time: The AP/EP
, a five-song EP that is currently being sold for their AP Fall Ball Tour and acts as a sort of segue between last year’s record and the band’s next future release. The general sound of the six songs to be found here is nothing too spectacular in truth and all too easily falls into the spectrum of sounds and light-weight emotions of Fast Times at Barrington High
. In fact, “I’m Yours Tonight” and “Days Like Masquerade” could have easily been bonus tracks off that album. The latter song is the better of the two as the band offers a sugary sweet “hidden” chorus that pops up from behind of what is first perceived as the song’s initial hook and gives the listener something to join in on the next time around.
“Sputter” features guest vocals from Jack Mannequin’s Andrew McMahon and could be basically called the EP’s ballad track. William Beckett shows his sensitive and smooth side here with the chorus hook of, “I knew that we would sputter out, we would sputter.” To be honest, this kind of sounds like an illusion to sexual subjects, but the song actually turns out to be pretty catchy and memorable. The rest of the EP unfortunately carries on in a forgettable way and continues with that b-side agenda that the first two songs displayed.
This type of catchy yet passive mediocrity is the main drawback for this EP and was as well for the majority of Fast Times at Barrington High
. While everything is nice and lightweight with the adolescent reminiscing of past times, the songs are just too forgettable and seemingly cut and paste. This is kind of waste given that many of tracks have appealing hooks and choruses and with a beefier production, could have easily made the band break out in a big way. However, listeners can’t really thrive on lackluster sugar alone and need more substance for their listening diets. Let us hope that The Academy Is… decides to bulk up a little bit for their next album and by doing so, hopefully they will deliver a much more meatier product.