Stomping Academy, The - Anders
Record Label: Unsigned
Release Date: April 11, 2011
What can you say about a pop/rock band without it being cliché? The very genre itself is so congested with bands that sometimes the sheer volume smothers the few gems starting out. So you need to stand out. How can you do that? By adding different instruments? That would be interesting. Maybe having a versatile sound that stays roughly in the genre? That could help. The Stomping Academy incorporates these things, along with one minor add-on: They're from Sweden.
When I first heard Anders, I realized something: They're not just pop/rock. They're also Pop-Punk. With lyrics "Like water, turn out the flame, you can't feel shame" There's is definitely a vigour to the lyrics not found in strict pop/rock.
Pretty soon I started to notice Alexander Andersson, the lead vocalist, had a bit of an accent while singing. While it wasn't really a deal breaker, it was definitely something I wasn't used to. But Andersson is privy to critics, advising them to be less cruel and understanding the power they hold with what they write in the opening track "My Blacklist." With a bass line that carries the entire song, the lyrics and guitar mend beautifully with the strong brass section.
The second song, "Where You Gonna Go?" Is the standout of the trio, having a much more upbeat instrumentation, while the lyrics remain bitter and powerful, which was, to be honest, what I was hoping for. After hearing the second track, I was instantly reminded of You, Me, And Everyone We Know's debut album, which made me even more satisfied with the entire listening experience.
The third and final song on the record is a change of pace, being more lovesick and orchestrated rather than bitter and dancey. Now in general, this isn't necessarily a bad thing (and further supports my notion of The Stomping Academy having some pop-punk in their veins) but the song doesn't jump out at you like the previous two. While it's still a very good song, it doesn't have that sudden punch that the previous songs have. While the song does grow on you, it's definitely a step in a different direction, which is good for a band with a diverse sound.
In short, give The Stomping Academy some credit for trying to get into a genre overstuffed with generic copies, especially since they're pretty genuine. Oh, and Sweden: I have a higher level of respect for you.