Album – The New You – School for the Dead

Posted by admin on January 28th, 2008

I often think the secret of a good album / EP is whether it is able to affect your mood. This 2004 release from School for the Dead, managed to do that within 10 seconds of the first track, turning my pretty neutral face, to one of grinning appreciation. Sounding very reminiscent of They Might Be Giants, there is something oh so undeniably catching about “Photobooth Curtain”. There’s also some very subtle Beatle influences that run throughout this 3 minute track, pure and simple pop at it’s best. I was so, excited to hear the track that followed, but also a little apprehensive, would this album be able to continue along the blazing, scorched path, that had been set down by the first track. Well the answer is yes, but much more gently so. “Campground Daughter”, is a much more whimsical song, but very, catchy.

From power pop, to whimsy and then off to the almost ska sounding “Thug”, yet it all flows and follows on exceptionally well. Of the 13 tracks on this album, I can honestly say there isn’t a dud one amongst them. “Photobooth Curtain” would have to be one of my favorites, along with “Can’t Believe How Fast” and “The Wichita Train Whistle Sings”, which could almost be a Monkee’s song, it just has that high energy, foot tapping vibe to it. Finishing up with “Goodnight”, the album ends on a darker, more sombre note, but for all it’s melancholy, it just can’t do any wrong.

The more I got into this album, the more I kept thinking of They Might be Giants and their 1990 release, Flood. Every song stands up on it’s own merits, but together they form a wonderful collection of just the most amazing tracks. This is very much a summer kind of album, but on the current freezing cold days and dark nights, it’s a great way to infuse a bit of sunshine.

Conclusion : Just a wonderful album, which should grace everyone’s collection. Just a little concerned that there’s been nothing since 2004, which is an eternity in Indie music, but my hopes are high for something new in the near future.

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