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The New Academics - The Apple

2008-09-09 08:13
The Apple is aggressively different. For starters, the cover shows an angel pissing on a naked woman. And Jesus Christ (just as naked) holding a brick, which, if you listened to the title track, you would know he’s using to break into a car. So this one’s not going into Ray McCauley’s CD cabinet, unless it doubles as a furnace.

The New Academics are a rare joy in that every member is in love with his instrument – and crucially, knows how to play it. Joe Penn’s voice is a stunt plane, banking and diving through his considerable range as unpredictably as it is pleasing. Martin Labuschagne’s phat bass, best sampled on the stomping “Dreamtime Soldiers”, is on fire throughout and might just, one day, lure a love sick Natalie Portman from across the Atlantic.
“Funkier” bands often struggle to assert their versatility, but The Apple has all the angles: personal lyrics (“Fuzz”) compete with allegorical ones (“The Apple”), screamo blues (“4 a.m.”) cohabits with acoustic rap diaries (“Balcony Confessional”). It’s a fruit salad, in funk rock terms, and it’s mighty good going down.

This record is not hip, but compared to this guy, neither are you. The Apple is well worth a bite.

Funk rock? Dead in the Noughties. Rapping with guitars: who does that anymore? The New Academics are so not hip. But if they can’t be hip, then fearless will just have to do.



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