The Second Academy - The Grave From Out of Which We Briefly Wander, 2009
THE SECOND ACADEMY are three ex-members of The Beautiful Mothers who, if their myspace site is to believed, wrote their songs almost as they were recording them. The band’s casual attitude in the studio doesn’t show through as the songs here are tight as you’d expect from guys who’ve played music with each other for a number of years. “The King and Queen of Filth” blasts dirtily through the speakers emulating a washing machine whirr coupled with some tuneful whistling. The band tilter upon the brink of an explosion with bass tocking over the mix and the vocals buried in the background. Sometimes hanging back just makes so much more sense than diving in headfirst as it stops splinters and shards going into the body every which way. All things being relative, “Litte Sister” sound is more than a little reminiscent of Pink Floyd’s “Mother” with its acoustic guitar, slow build-up and even lyrics.
The Second Academy dip their toes in alt-country on “The Right Woman” and “Posthumous Lullabye”. Many a jangly indie band would learn how to channel the Velvet Underground if listening to “Adventure Tuesday” was compulsory listening before even conceiving the thought of a forming a band. The mucky filth of “Monkey Shines” contains all the lo-fi requisite heavy distortion and quietly barked vocals. At times, listening to the album right through, the mixture of styles doesn’t always gel although The Second Academy definitely deliver the goods when it comes to listenable songs. With its Lou Reed approach, “Downhill” is oddly placed at the end of the album. That’s a minor drawback that fortunately can be altered through the wonders of CD programming.
The Second Academy band site
The Second Academy on myspace
The Second Academy on facebook