THE ACADEMIC – ‘TALES FROM THE BACKSEAT’ ALBUM REVIEW

The Academic are an Irish indie band tipped to make the break to superstardom. Formed in secondary school through a diet of music, toasted sandwiches, and Nicholas Cage films, their energetic indie rock is influenced by Britpop, The Strokes, and Yeah Yeah Yeah’s. The hardworking four piece started out playing in small venues and pubs, before being snapped up by the likes of Noel Gallagher and Twenty One Pilots and Catfish & The Bottlemen. This has helped their stock rise massively as their debut album Tales From the Backseat arrives in January. It’s a strong slice of anthemic indie with big poppy hooks. Underpinned by tales of adolescence and the pains of growing up, it’s sure to widen their audience and create a big impact over the next year.
There is a carefree vibe across these ten tracks. It’s a fast paced energy rush that opens with the Circa Waves-esque ‘Permanent Vacation.’ This track demonstrates why The Academic are so highly regarded, with massive spiky guitars that are fit for arenas. It has an infectious positive enthusiasm with a chorus that will get stuck in your head. ‘Bear Claws’ continues this trend, a tale of honesty in which the protagonist is in two minds about getting over a break up. Again, the chorus of “Eh, oh, I’ll never let you go” is going to have a colossal impact at their shows. It’s a belter of a chorus; in comparison to the version on previous EP Loose Friends, there’s a refined and refreshed feel that translates superbly in the new recording.
‘Different’ is a story about the protagonist being desperate for a lover. The refrain of “I want you, I want you, I want you / I know that you’re different” is beautiful and oozes honesty. The instrumentation is extremely tight; you can feel the strong chemistry straight away, the melodic guitars sounding vibrant and colourful.
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On approaching the halfway point of the album, it’s clear that the pace doesn’t let up. ‘I Feel It Too’ and ‘Bite My Tongue’ are energetic and contain strong, refreshing vocal performances. You can see the band had a lot of fun recording the album. The gang vocals on the latter track enhance the positive atmosphere, while the former has some extremely creative harmonics that are reminiscent of a summer’s day.
‘Television’ brings a more relaxed approach, but this only enhances the band’s confidence in writing massive hooks. It is heavily reminiscent of The Strokes, but they bring their own flavour to the table, the interplay between the guitars working brilliantly.
Overall, Tales From the Backseat shows that The Academic wear their influences on their sleeve, but the infectious, upbeat energy really comes across on this stunning record. If you’re a fan of  Two Door Cinema Club and The Strokes, this is the perfect album for you.
Tales From the Backseat is released on 12th January 2018.
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 Words by Ermis Madikopoulos

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