Academy The Academy

In reviewing this emo-and-proud-of-it debut EP from Chicago, IL’s the Academy, a great metaphor from Jason Lutes’ masterful comic book series, Berlin, comes to mind. In it, the writer protagonist sees "human history as a great river, finding its course along the lowest points of the landscape” and each page of writing as a stone. If a stone is casually tossed in, the water level will rise unabated until a soggy, messy marsh results, but if each stone is "placed carefully and with purpose” there is the chance of something meaningful being built. This metaphor can also be applied to the genre of emo in the musical landscape of today. The Academy, full of young fresh fellows waiting for their big MTV break, occasionally hits inspiration, such as the end of "The Author,” or standout track "In Our Defense,” but mostly this has been done before, and better, by bands like Thursday, Rainer Maria, etc. The Academy excel in earnest vocals, good harmonies and melodic riffs, but so do many other bands, and if this continues, emo, like the Berlin Lutes wrote about, runs the risk of being nothing more than a pile of stones, directionless and heavy. (LLR)