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Call It Blazing

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Album Review

The sound A Classic Education conjures up on their debut album Call It Blazing is like a warm embrace. The guitars jangle and swoon in a tangle of gentle reverb, keys slide gracefully in and out of the mix, the drums are cushioned by the layers of sound, and singer Jonathan Clancy's crooning vocals ride the waves like a nocturnal surfer. Producer Jarvis Taveniere captures the band in time like a blurry Polaroid looking and sounding like a perfect blend of Galaxie 500 dreamy, early Shins wistful, and Go-Betweens smart. Add in the bounce of old-timey garage rock and the low-key rumble of the Velvet Underground at their least aggressive, mix with a healthy amount of catchy pop melody, and you’ve got an album that sounds very familiar, but because of the high level of craft and feel the band add in, it also sounds brand new. It’s not the kind of record that will hit you over the head right away with flash and bravado, more like it creeps up on you slowly until the songs feel like they’ve been implanted into your memory. The uptempo tracks like "Baby, It’s Fine," and "Can You Feel the Backwash" will likely be the first to sink in; the stumbling rhythms and rippling guitars catching the ear like shards of rainbow light. The tracks that will stick with you are the midtempo ballads like “Place a Bet on You,” the haunting "Forever Boy," or “Spin Me Around” that float gently past like sad daydreams; the band has a nice, relaxed feel and Clancy’s vocals bleed melancholy with a tender ease. It’s an assured and confident debut made by a band with a firm grasp on history (it’s in their name, after all) and a clear sense of how to use it to create something with a beating, modern heart. You’d have to go a long way to find a better indie rock album in 2011.

Customer Reviews

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Thank you Italy!


Formed: Bologna, Italy

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '10s

Don't be fooled by where they're from -- even though A Classic Education formed in the Italian college town of Bologna, they could just as easily have come from Leeds or Toronto. The band's lead singer, Jonathan Clancy, originally hails from Canada, and given their sound -- nocturnal, reverb-slicked, brimming with Clancy's melodramatic croon -- their influences could easily include Brit-pop/indie pop acts like the Wedding Present, the Field Mice, and the Smiths. Clancy teamed up with Luca Mazzieri...
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Call It Blazing, A Classic Education
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