The Rational Academy A Heart Against Your Own

Considering their band name, the Rational Academy are surprisingly scatterbrained in the stylistic cohesion of A Heart Against Your Own’s seven tracks. Commencing with the kind of warm, sugary synth pop the Stars deal in, the album drops directly into a pool of mid-tempo shoegazer noise pop for the second track. TRA hold still for a moment, dwelling in sparse, clean, delay-driven guitars for the brief "David” before shifting gears again into the beautifully haunting gothic new wave feel of "2004.” Just when some consistency of tone seems to be emerging, the distortion kicks in for full-on Pumpkins-biting sensitive grunge riffage with "Two Books.” From here the music flirts with post-rock guitar doodling from the Sonic Youth playbook before seeping into squalls of noise capped by a melodic outro in the nine-minute epic "Squid & Whale.” And to confirm their touch of musical schizophrenia, the Rational Academy close with a happy little glockenspiel peppered folk track. (Someone Good)