The Academy Is...
Almost Here



by USER (43 Reviews)
July 11th, 2005 | 57 replies

Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

I've always remembered my feel-good hits of the year. In 2002, there was Tell All Your Friends. In 2003, there was Casually Dressed And Deep In Conversation. In 2004, there was ...Is A Real Boy. Now, it's 2005 and The Academy Is... have released this beast of a debut.

While their first EP (Titled The Academy EP back when they were just The Academy) was very reminisent of standard pop-punk anthems with catchy riffs which stick in your head and lyrics that flow with the music, this 10-track record slightly steps back from that genre. Here is a mix of clean-cut songs, all backed by funky basslines and standard beats. Of course, it's Will Beckett's (lead singer / ex-Remember Maine) vocals which make this band stand out. His ability to hit the highest notes while passionately singing about the media in terms that don't make him a "fuck the government" style (See: NOFX, Anti-Flag) make this CD a delight to listen to.

"Attention, attention, may I have all your eyes and ears to the front of the room". What a sheerly brilliant way to begin the album. It takes just a few seconds for Will's incredibly attractive voice to catch you in the speakers and grab you for a half hour. The music may not be too original, but it fits so well with the vocals. A calm and clean build-up to a breakdown on guitar that just makes you swing your head from side to side.

It's not until "Slow Down" where The Academy Is... really stand out from the other bands in the pop-punk scene. They can fuse their ability to make poppy hits combining 60's style drumming and basslines which stick in your head with catchy vocals and lyrics which you will sing for days. They just combine with the music oh-so well. "You won the role, you've played your part, you've been cordially invited. But I'm not impressed, and I'm definately not excited". It's sung so creatively.

Track 5, "Black Mamba", is Will's attempts to get back at critics, who quickly wrote them off as another cash-in band who made money purely from being in the scene. He sings "Oh Mr. Magazne, I never wrote one single thing for you, oOr your so-called music scene, yYou don't mean a thing to me". It fits so well with the music again, and you can really feel the angst from the band in this song. The acoustic guitars which lead to full distorted electric, it's beautifully crafted. This song is brutally honest and one hell of an example of how a band can create an album for themselves, for their fans, and not particularly give a shit if the scene accept it or not.

"Skeptics and True Believers" holds some of the most original lyrics to impress your partner. "Would you believe me if I said I didnt need you, cos I wouldnt believe you if you said that to me". The build-up in the bridge just adds to the emotion of how well this is sung. It's frantically fast, and the words become a tongue-twister as you try to master singing it along with Will.

Following onto the theme of clean and perfected songs sung so well, with amazingly addictive basslines over the top, "Checkmarks" is one of the catchiest songs on the album. The pace speeds up gradually, and the harsh lyrics "So suck your so called pity down, hey, that's not so bad, is it"" just add to the feeling of jealousy and hate. You really feel Will's passion in the final chorus, he's singing his heart onto this record for all to hear.

The album ends on the melodic "Down And Out" and the fast-paced finale that is "Almost Here". Both deserve credit for topping off this album, for finishing it with a slower song with a down-beat pace and a clean picking guitar that sticks in your head, and the last song which builds up the distortion again and forces you one last taste of Thw Academy Is.... "Almost Here" may be one of the best songs on the album, finishing with a fast-paced outro of Will singing "Our time is almost, our time is almost here".

It's certain that this is one of the best albums of the year. They are the new leaders of the nonconformist conformists, planting their attitude and beliefs into each catchy number on this CD. Though it's length is slightly disappointing (10 songs, all of which quickly pass by), it has a long-lasting value. This is the kind of CD you will look back on in years and remember what 2005 used to be like. This is straight up pop-punk anthems, and considering they don't use the average pop-punk forumla, you have to give credit to The Academy Is...

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user ratings (430)
other reviews of this album
DaveyBoy STAFF (4.5)
A super impressive full-length debut with absolutely no filler, this is catchy pop-rock near its bes...

francesfarmer (4)

TheDualist (2)
In the mid 2000's, the boys if The Academy Is... were the reigning kings of emo-pop-rock, breaking h...

Comments:Add a Comment 
July 28th 2005


Album Rating: 2.5

Mmm.. just grabbed a copy of this album, they remind me alot of New found glory.

You reviewed it well, breaking it down well, and highlighting different songs on the album.

I know how it is, not to get comments and all :P, you just have to review mainstream records to get them, and these guys are relatively new.This Message Edited On 07.28.05

August 9th 2005


wow yea quite good. i usually avoid pop-punk like the plague, but this is quite good 4/5

October 7th 2005


i heard one of their songs on a game that sounds like turnout

the song was almost here and i thot it roked i think ill pick the album soon thanks to the review

I'm Charming
October 7th 2005


My brother listens to this band non stop, and it is non stop pain on my ears. IMO. From what I hear though, these guys are very popular.

good, very detailed review though.

November 20th 2005


Love the way you mentioned 'Say Anything' In the opening paragraph.
Love it.

February 18th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

IM seeing these gouys today and it should be amazing!!1

what u didnt like classifieds?

this cd rocks, with only one weak track, season, but 9/10 is stil passing, this is one of my top three favorite bands

February 18th 2006


Two of the worst band names ever:
The Academy Is...

February 18th 2006


This band is okay.

February 21st 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

i think the band name is creative, not bad

saw these guys live on the 18th, im still trying to reassemble my face from when it blew off in amazement

i could just be a fanboy though lol!!

February 23rd 2006


By saying creative you're suggesting a positive connotation to the name. I think it's creative too, but I also think what they have created is crappy. It's a stupid pretentious name.

The Jungler
February 23rd 2006


Yeah, Hoobastank is pretty horrid. This band sounds like the rest of todays pop-punk music. Perfect for MTV, but not for me. All though I kind of like checkmarks.This Message Edited On 02.23.06

February 23rd 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

ughh dfelon you hae no clue what your taking about, but ill ignore that due to something called difference of opinion

but yeah, hoobastank blows

May 7th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

Good review. I love this album, this band is great live too, they have a ton of energy.

May 25th 2006


Album Rating: 4.5

the best song is slow down and worst is almost here

Storm In A Teacup
May 27th 2006


"Checkmarks" is nifty, but not enough to convince me to explore the band more.

June 12th 2006


I like this review, you get to the point and express clearly what you think... it's just a generally good review, well done.

July 20th 2006


i am addicted to this cd.

July 30th 2006


Album Rating: 1.5

The Phrase that pays and Skeptics and True Belivers own, and this is a pretty good live band, they're not the who, but then again, who is?

December 27th 2006


Lol, funny joke (that has some truth behind it) The worst band name I know. The academy is... hoobastank.

If hoobastank would be a metaphor of "crappy" then it would be even funnier.

And hoobastank sounds stinky...This Message Edited On 12.27.06

December 28th 2006


they are so catchy

songs like checkmarks, the phrase that pays, slow down, almost here, attention never get old to listen to =D

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