Monday, January 5, 2009

Name Dropping 101: The Academy Is..

>>I just bought Fast Times At Barrington High by The Academy Is..., and it's wonderful. I unfortunately don't have Santi, and I only really know 2 songs from that album: the single, "We've Got A Big Mess On Our Hands", and "Same Blood" that I got off of the '08 Warped Tour Compilation CD. I do, of course, have Almost Here from 2004 so I don't feel as bad, I suppose.. As I'm listening to my new purchase, I realize the band has changed quite a bit in four years. "About A Girl" and "Summer Hair = Forever Young" are the first two tracks from the newer record, and you could easily pick them out if you played them with some of my favorites by the band, such as "Black Mamba" and "Classifieds". The sound is quite different, but I can't say I'm complaining. It seems almost more main-stream though, with more of a pop-punk influence than before. The song "After the Last Midtown Show" stands out the most at this point because it reminds me of their old sound, actually refrencing their debut album's title in the lyrics. I'm really fond of how the tracks flow into eachother. Now that I think about it, it seems like as you listen from track one to track twelve, you go from more of a lighter sound to something you'd expect from The Academy Is... The beginning tracks have 'poppier-punk' qualities that I love but was surprised to hear from this band at first, and those towards the end* fit better with my mental image of their music as a whole. Almost Here had been called the "best emo album of '04" and the like by reviews on iTunes, not that those are all that reliable, but one of those reviewers couldn't say the same thing about Fast Times without completely misunderstanding the genre. It's not that the band has lost its touch, all I'm saying is that they've changed things up a bit from the last time I bought one of their CDs. It's a good album from what I've heard of it so far, and I doubt any The Academy Is... fan would be dissappointed.
Now that I've listened to the whole thing twice, I can say that Fast Times At Barrington High is definately worth looking into, fer both those who knew the band's older stuff as well as fer those who are unfamiliar with The Academy Is...

*- Track 11, "Paper Chase", fits in better with the beginning tracks as I've described them.

>>By the way, check out the Glamour Kills Blog. The Best of 2008 post seriously just made my day. It features lists of 10 albums & 5 EPs, most of which should be ringing major bells if you read my site. Champion (The Audition), Rotation (Cute is What We Aim For), Fast Times (The Academy Is...), Can't Stop Won't Stop (The Maine), and Hold On Tight (Hey Monday) have all been mentioned at least once.. or at least, the bands & songs from those albums are refrenced somewhere on here. As for the EPs listed? Greetings From... by my loves in A Rocket To The Moon & That's What She Said by The Friday Night Boys made the cut. I'm not all that familiar with The Way Out is Broken, but I love Armor For Sleep so I'm going out on a limb to say it's something worth checking out. Same goes for Hawthorne Heights and their album Fragile Future.

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