Thursday, May 10, 2012

pop*eye...The School—Reading Too Much Into Things Like Everything (2012)


from Cardiff

The School
Reading Too Much Into Things Like Everything (2012)

*I proud to highly

The School have studied hard, taking their lessons from ’60s pop and soul (and a spot of contemporary twee), and yet by keeping their curriculum so elementary, they risk missing out on the top grades.  Reading Too Much Into Things Like Everything, the bewilderingly titled sophomore effort from this charming Welsh octet, is twelve tracks of puppy love, dreamboats and petticoats.  This is sugary sweet throwback pop in the vein of Belle and Sebastian spin-off God Save the Girl, or a more sedate rendition of label-mates Camera Obscura.  Reading… is an album both  utterly inoffensive and radiantly positive, with just enough sleigh bells to remind the listener of Christmas carols and hallmark cards.

Lead singer and keyboardist Liz narrates the brief album with the innocence (or naivety) of a teenage girl’s diary musings.  She doesn’t really do subtlety (or extended metaphors). “Stop that boy he stole my heart” she sings before announcing shortly thereafter that “He’s too late, now my heart is filled with hate”. Of course, one isn’t likely to hear anything more intellectual on a album by Best Coast or Cults, but The School plough the same retro furrow without anything of their contemporaries’ tongue-in-cheek irony or musical intent.

The remaining seven members of the band fill around Liz’s simple words with consistently cute and peppy mid-tempo pop, heavy on piano chords, brass, organ, and a flood of handclaps.  At times it feels like a paint-by-numbers approach with brief, repetitive arrangements punctuated with plenty of “oh oh oh”s and “woah woah woah”s. There is a fair amount of accomplished musicianship on display.  Liz’s vocals are disarmingly pitch-perfect, the harmonies lush, the choruses infernally catchy.  Throughout the album there are glimpses of inspiration, such as the staccato introduction to ‘The Grass Is Always Greener’, or the spot-on funky organs of ‘Never Thought I’d See The Day’.  Indeed many of these tracks will probably sound great blasted out at midnight at quaint little rock n’ roll nights with the tempo bumped up, particularly ‘Why Do You Have To Break My Heart Again’. Ultimately, though ,as the name suggests, there’s simply a lack of maturity to the band. They’ve absorbed their history lessons well, but their own output remains a tad too derivative and simplistic to recommend wholeheartedly.
Porta's Rating
8 of 10

*Porta's favourite!*

 “A marvelous collection of utterly perfect pop songs!

*Porta's favourite!*

We're a pop band from Cardiff. Second album 'Reading Too Much Into Things Like Everything' out 14th May 2012 on Elefant Records!
The School are a pop band from Cardiff. Their debut album 'Loveless Unbeliever' was released in 2010 on legendary Spanish label Elefant Records, and was produced by Ian Catt (Saint Etienne, Trembling Blue Stars, The Field Mice, Shampoo).

The album appeared in over 70 'Best of 2010' lists, it was 6Music's Album of the Day, Rough Trade's Album of the Week and Radio Nowhere's Album of the Year. BBC
... Radio Wales's Adam Walton declared it his 'favourite Welsh pop album of all time'. Oh and Molly Ringwald is also a fan.

Album two - 'Reading Too Much Into Things Like Everything' - will be released on 14th May 2012, recorded & produced by David Wrench (Euros Childs, Guillemots, James Yorkston, Everything Everything, Caribou, Fanfarlo, Alessi's Ark, Bat For Lashes, Race Horses) at Bryn Derwen studios in North Wales. It has 12 tracks and is 29 minutes long.

The first single from the new album is a 4-track EP with lead tracks 'Never Thought I'd See The Day' / 'Where Does Your Heart Belong?', along with 2 bside covers 'When He Kisses Me' (Jonathan Richman) + 'I Wouldn't Know What To Do' (The Honeydrips).

"a swaying, winsome tune with some of the Phil Spector lushness of Lucky Soul, the Belle & Sebastian-style modesty of Camera Obscura, and the airy, girl-group vocals of both" - Pitchfork

The School are also promoters in Cardiff - if you are a touring band playing in Cardiff, chances are you have already stayed at their house..
See More
Artists We Also Like
Camera Obscura, Belle and Sebastian, She and Him, The Beach Boys, The Shangri-Las 

Liz, Steph, Rich, Harri, Ryan, Fran, Kay, Ivan

"My personal favorite
indies-pop bands!"



Artists to Watch 2011


Catch up with previous 'Our Best Of' of The ~BAND IDOL~ARTISTS TO WATCH Series

Artists to watch 2011
1 January 2011


“Simplistic to recommend wholeheartedly!”

the portastylistic

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