The Academy Is… Santi
Pretty good for graduates of Fall Out Boy’s school of rock
Until now, the greatest legacy The Academy Is… could realistically hope to have left the world is a footnote in the emo history books for their regular appearances in Fall Out Boy videos. Debut LP ‘Almost Here’ displayed little sign of why Pete Wentz lobbied for a record deal on their behalf in the first place, so perhaps it was ‘Santi’ that his A&R third eye spied.
A full and well-executed creative about-face it may be, but you suspect ‘Santi’ is ultimately the product of TAI…’s close relationship with some of America’s emo heavyweights. ‘LAX To O’Hare’ and ‘Chop Chop’ exhibit some of the same peculiar, syncopated storytelling found in Panic! At The Disco’s ‘I Write Sins Not Tragedies’; ‘Bulls In Brooklyn’, with its fabulous mamba breakdown, recalls Head Automatica’s rose-tinted love affair with ’80s power-pop. They might be taking pains to avoid such comparisons elsewhere on the album, but ‘Seed’ is pure Fall Out Boy, with a chorus that’ll send you scrambling for your dusty copy of Smashing Pumpkins’ ‘Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness’.
Sadly, TAI…’s surprise maturation isn’t yet 100 per cent complete. ‘Neighbors’ is as blandly pedestrian as the daytime soap it’s obviously not referring to, while closing track ‘Unexpected Places’ is Orson by another name. Both could perch quite happily on the tracklisting of one of those games console-based karaoke games.
As for the album’s name, well, it has nothing to do with the Indian gurus or Arabic soft drinks one might have thought – apparently it’s a word tattooed on the drummer’s arse. True origin as yet undisclosed, the band have generously suggested that fans come up with their own acronym. Fuck it, we’re going to have a go. “Surprisingly Actually Not That Irritating (Anymore)”. Sorry, we tried.