Album review of 'Fast Times At Barrington High' by The Academy Is.
Having just completed a string of dates in the UK, The Academy Is. now release the follow-up to 2007's impressive 'Santi' record. Testament to their popularity in their home country, a summer spent on the Warped Tour is to be capitalised on by a huge tour, kicking off at the beginning of October.
Straight from the opening bars of 'About A Girl', TAS signal that they've lost none of their knack for crafting energetic rock songs with infectious melodies. Up-tempo and anthemic, it quickly gets under the skin and provides one of many sing-a-longs - others to pick from include 'His Girl Friday' and the quirky 'Coppertone'. Look under the glossy coating and many songs reveal William Beckett to be a promising lyricist, with 'The Test' detailing a difficult relationship and 'Rumored Nights' delivering an intriguing and ambiguous stalking tale, which builds from acoustic beginnings to a much grander sonic assault. Even when going down the clichéd route of the ballad, the quintet manage to stay away from being cheesy, instead pulling off a tune that is gentle and sways with warmth. Though they never quite hit the heights of their previous record, they have now delivered an album which is much more consistent and genuinely does not have anything that stands out as filler.