The Academy Is... - Almost Here

You can't help but feel sorry for The Academy Is... They came over on a sell out tour with Panic At The Disco as headliners and slowly and surely became the underdogs of Fuelled By Ramen in a matter of weeks. A formidable live band who bring to mind Led Zep and the Rolling Stones at their best, on record they fail to hit the mark sounding positively MOR compared to majority of bands breaking out right now.

"Attention Attention, can I have all your eyes and ears, if only, for a second" and there you have it all summed up on the albums first track where the interest wanes before the chorus has kicked in.

Perhaps we're being overly critical because there are moments on this album that really standout. "The Phrase That Pays" lyrical narration of a man on his last legs is genuinely touching, while the production allows the guitars to crunch rather than lightly strum like they have on previous tracks. "Black Mamba" is the Stereophonics Mr Writer (i.e. a dig a journalist before the digs started) set to Elvis Costello covering Rancid's "Time Bomb", while "Skeptics And True Believers" has lyrics which demand to be written on White T's ala Wham's 80s fashion mistakes...and it's their best track by a mile and in truth wipes the floor with anything Fall Out Boy have ever released.

The rest of the album rewrites the Rolling Stones "Satisfaction" on "Classifieds", veers on the predictable on "Clockmarks", features a mid-tempo rock ballad with "Down And Out" before ending on the electric "Almost Here" which offers a real hope for the future of The Academy Is...

"Almost Here" is an album that could have been great, but the production makes it so tired that it's as likely to feature as prominently on your dads player as it is on your IPOD.

Alex McCann

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