Much of the music that is released unto us for pleasure these days often finds itself in head to head competition and comparison with the sounds of the yester-years. The outcome of several of these musical debates results much of the time in the past's favor. Sadly this can be told to you by many music fans that all that is for the most part true, and bands today will never live up to the standards set by giants like David Bowie, The Doors, The Cure, and Led Zeppelin. That is ignorance to the tenth power and they don't even know it. Unfortunately this band 'The Academy Is...' has not been categorized under the genre that should garner much success and attention for them. Many times the band can be placed on the ever growing list of this new wave of emo-tastic pop-rocking punk followers. Underneath all the labelling and general feelings of the band from first impressions (they do almost nothing aside from their music to seperate themselves, straightened hair and tight pants galore) is a massive amount of potential just bursting onto the stage like magma from a volcano. 'The Academy Is...' are a very impressive group and they won't fail to pique your interest if your into discovering something new and explosive to help your ears along on their quest for good, modern music. So put aside your Post-Rock and Alternative records and try on this band for size. If they don't fit, well, maybe your eating up too much of that Indie, boy.
'The Academy Is...' plays very lively and emotional music, with lyrics that are more supressed in the poetic sense but when they're performed with the rest of the band they flow like a river and occasionally jump out at you, sounding very cool. Mr. Beckett is an amazing singer and knows just the right formulas to produce a product to keep attention in his direction. After a few listens you'll realize that the instrumental part of TAI... plays one of those unnoticable imperitive roles in the music. I disregarded the members behind Beckett without even knowing it, just submerged in his smooth vocal display. Looking out for that on the next listen, its easy to realize that without the guitars, bass and drums Beckett would be lost in his own voice. He rides the instrumental like a wave, and splashes onto you with true force. Unlike some modern singing, in TAI... the vocals do not ever run away from the band. Its a solid
One thing I grew to enjoy about Almost Here
is its intertwined relations. For example (and a big one at that), remember how I said the instrumental plays a small and large role in the recording...at the same time? Well the various songs on the album relay this quality for themselves, as songs, not when you pry its details apart. All of the tracks share that signature sound to them, its in the background, and they all sound exactly the same. But occurring at that very moment upon listening to more than one song that unique ring each track possesses twangs out a few times seperating them from eachother. If you exceed the necessary experimenting with TAI's music its very possible to come to the conclusion that, yeah, all of these songs sound exactly
the same. But your not going to notice for a while after first listening if you have a positive attitude twoard it, nor will you care. Extracting as much joy as possible for yourself from the music is what a satisfied listener will do with Almost Here.
Push aside Beckett for a bit and concentrating on his backup, what is heard is almost as generic as it is a first (noticing a pattern here?). Sharing many qualities with the singing, production and songs the instrumentation shows no signs of slowing down, nor speeding up. Its a hook-happy power fest amongst the other band members. To say what sets this apart from the gazillions of previous efforts by the gazillions of previous bands, is Beckett once again. The other members of the band form his surfboard, and he rides the wave of noise twoard their fans. Not only that, though, but being a large portion of what makes this unique. The instruments give off a very loose and practiced vibe. It doesn't seem as it is, but it is. Its like listening to a band and hearing their similarities with TAI... but being unable to pinpoint them off the top of your head, despite how much thought you put into it. They take the standard chords and riffs and change them around to their liking, then record behind Beckett and make it as unheard of as it is the norm.
Outside of the gold gift-wrap and Jim Morrisson esque singer (his behavior is questionable to his supposed originality, and, well...he just really looks like the guy) is everything you've been looking for. New and exciting. How many times have you heard that one, right? Well this is one of the top five or ten albums (depending heavily on your tolerance for this band) that are a must-listen to if you want another branch of potential growing on your tree. Following The Academy Is... throughout the full span of their career is going to prove to be a certainly interesting experience.
Vocals: William Beckett
Guitars: Tom Conrad
Guitars: Mike Carden
Bass: Adam Siska
Drums: Andy Mrotek