The ironic thing about The Academy Is.. is that they almost never existed. Lead singer William Beckett and Lead guitarist Mike Carden grew up as rivals. But one day both of their bands broke up, and they got together and realized how much they had in common, and The Academy IsÖ (well, technically they were just The Academy, they changed their name later) was born. After being signed to Fueled By Ramen (the same label that gave you Fall Out Boy) they created the masterpiece of an album Almost Here. This is an acoustic EP featuring three songs from Almost Here, two new songs, and one cover, and is only available via download from i-tunes.
The first track Pour Yourself A Drink
is a basement demo, and you can tell from the start. The mixing and sound in general isnít very good, but if youíre willing to tolerate it then youíre in for a treat. With trademark TAI lyrics (meaning theyíre kind of dark and sometimes make you think) ďthe only thing worse for you than you is meĒ
. Itís pretty good, but the next track The Fever
blows it away. The guitar mixes with the vox perfectly, talking about someone who lieís a lot, and how the singer is done with it. The breakdown near the end showcases Willís vocal ability, where he sings some high notes that sound perfect and donít sound out of place at all.
The next two songs, Phrase That Pays
and Working Class Hero
are the weakest set of songs on the album. I can respect the guys trying to do something different with Phrase That Pays, but giving it a country tone wasnít the way to go. Working Class Hero
is a John Lennon cover, and while it wasnít my favorite, Iím sure I would have enjoyed it much more if I were a huge John Lennon fan.
The last two songs on the album rectify its flaws with the two best songs on the EP. Down And Out
was my favorite song off Almost Here, and I got excited when I heard they were going to do a piano rendition with the pianist from ThisIsMeSmiling (great band btw) The beginning is just the piano player messing around with the song, and giving it an almost carnival-esque feel (listen to the song to know what I mean) but then the song begins, and Willís voice is almost enchanting, with some sort of echo effect on it. The only problem I have with the song is that during the breakdown, they changed up the piano part to make it stand out, but it loses all the momentum. The final song Black Mamba
is the best song on the album, ironic, because I found it the weakest song on Almost Here. The best part is the end, with the clapping along and the cheers in the background. It makes you smile and will have you singing along almost instantly.
This is overall a very good effort from The Academy IsÖ . If you have never heard of these guys then I strongly recommend you go and buy Almost Here, and if you like that, then you will love this as well
Final Score 3.5
-Same old Academy Is.. goodness
-New songs are great
-Sometimes try too hard to change songs
This is my first review, EVER, so be nice
(p.s. thansk alot to kripes/beyontheblueprint fr helping me not look like a foo)