Alter The Press!


Album Review: The Academy Is... Fast Times At Barrington High

The Academy Is... are a Pop-Punk/"Emo" band originating from Chicago, Illinois, home to bands such as Alkaline Trio and Fall Out Boy. The Academy Is... definitely sound more like the latter and their latest album especially proves this. The band is made up of William Beckett (Vocals), Adam Siska on Bass, Michael Guy Chislett and Mike Carden both take up Guitar duties and Andy Mrotek plays drums.

This is The Academy Is...'s third album, an album which from the off is set to win back fans, who disliked the more grown up indie rock sound of last year's 'Santi'. Fast Times at Barrington High starts off with 'About A Girl' which sees the band returning to their Pop-Punk roots, with a catchy chorus and teen-angst lyrics with singer William Beckett not wasting his time on a girl. Beckett continues his nostalgic look on his teen years with 'Summer Hair Forever Young'.

The third track 'His Girl Friday' also continues this theme, however the track proves to be well structured with poppy synth-backed chorus.

TAI's nostalgic look on their High School year's soon becomes tiresome with songs such as 'The Test', 'Rumored Nights' and 'Automatic Eyes', contributing to this, even though they fit in well into the album.

'Coppertone' sees the band briefly return to their 'Almost Here' sound which goes along a nice pace and includes a nice pop-rock chorus. However the band soon return to their nostalgic look with 'After The Last Midtown Show', a ballad which recollects on the band's High School days being the best of their lives. 'Beware Cougar' sees Beckett being serious as he discusses the problem of dealing with adult relationships. 'Paper Chase' sees the band's High School days ending, as it is graduation and 'One More Weekend' being the final school blow out.

Overall 'Fast Times At Barrington High' to an extent is a concept album, with the continuous theme of High School memories. However it soon becomes a tired concept despite the album starting off with 3 catchy and fun tracks, the rest of the albums seems to drift along with it's combination of nostalgia and standard Pop-Rock sound.
The album will win back fans, however it is likely those fan's will be those who are in their teens, which is of course is the band's target album. This unfortunately isolates the band's older fan's who preferred the slightly more grown up lyrics of 'Almost Here' and 'Santi', rather then the reminiscent lyrics of this record.


For fans of: Fall Out Boy, The Cab, Panic At The Disco
The Academy Is... will be on tour in September with support from We The Kings and The Maine:
13 Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach
14 Manchester Academy 3
15 Glasgow ABC2
16 Leeds Cockpit
17 London Islington Academy
19 Oxford Academy (Upstairs)
20 Birmingham Barfly
21 Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms

Alter The Press!