Punk Pop Throwback: The Academy Is...- Almost Here Review


Bit of an album throwback here, after a few of the tracks popped up on my Top Rated shuffle on my iPod whilst I was writing my dissertation (10,900 words in 15 days, with a week in Amsterdam in between; BOOM!). Before I knew it, I’d sacked off the shuffle and was listening to the album in its entirety.

Released in 2005, to paraphrase Tim “the Big Dog” Westwood “it’s off the meat rack, POW POW POW!”.

Ring the bell: school’s in, suckers.

For a 10 track album, this will go down as one of my Top 3 albums of all time. Purely subjectively of course, the album should go down in the annuals of Pop Punk debut greatness. The album tracks combine some crafty, witty lyrics with quick beats, solid hooks and a few instances of getting a bit too livid over essentially a bad review.

For the fickle amongst you, and there are a few, (and let’s face it; you’ve made it this far into the post you’re probably hanging on my every glorious word) the album released 2 official videos; Slow Down and Checkmarks. Despite recording a video of Classifieds, for unknown reasons the band never released it.

Tempest’s Track Ratings:

“Attention” – 2:53
8/10 Top opening track, grabs you from the start with the stereo effects, hits hard through the couple of verses and choruses, then fucks off early. Job done.

“Season” – 3:34
9/10 As Ajay (and Rodriguez Jadson) will remember, this is as close you will get to 10/10 in the Tempest rating systems. If it wasn’t for my move from WinAmp to iTunes last year, this would be heads and shoulders above in my most played.

If I can only include one track in this, it’s gotta be:

The Academy Is…- Season

“Slow Down” – 4:02
7/10 Despite being one of the video released tracks, its certainly got commercial appeal. Slower verses build up to decent choruses.

“The Phrase That Pays” – 3:17
6/10 Smart lyrics clinically dispatched. Some of the guitars in this are sick!

“Black Mamba” – 2:46
8/10 Another short track that doesn’t need to waste an entire 3 mins of your life. A hit out at some critics that must have slated the band before Fueled By Ramen gave them an album deal. I suppose this is the pop-punk version of a diss-track…?!

“Skeptics and True Believers” – 2:54
6/10 One of the potentially weaker tracks on the album… that still gets 6/10.

“Classifieds” – 2:52
9/10 2nd best track from this album, and a bit of a travesty it didn’t get the video released. Very good live also!

“Checkmarks” – 3:00
6/10 Not a big fan of this track, but check out the video and decide for yourself. Bit too much of a ‘mess’ of noise for me.

“Down and Out” – 4:30
8/10 Lyrically a brilliant track, backed up musically very well too.

“Almost Here” – 3:06
8/10 Sick signing-off track, symbolising “here” the notion of “having made it”. Again, amazing live, especially as it was the last in their set.

I highly reccommend you buy this album.

This was all a bit too serious, normal Tempest service will resume after these messages.

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