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A Classic Education

Hey There Stranger

(Lefse; US: 26 Oct 2010; UK: 21 Sep 2010)

There’s a hazy quality to what A Classic Education does on Hey There Stranger that is surely in line with the times. In fact, as the Lefse label deals in independent music’s gauzy offerings, it’s no surprise that it’s the stateside home for this Bologna, Italy-based band.What’s striking about A Classic Education is its basis in pure pop music. These songs are tight and driving in their murk, not sluggish and wandering. “Gone to Sea” surges on intertwining guitar riffs, while “What My Life Could Have Been” speeds along at a breakneck clip. The band may settle in on the second half of the EP, when tempos slow and guitars trickle more than rush, but the energy resonates all the way through. A Classic Education remind us, with each infectious song here, that “beach” music is also for partying, and not just laying in the sun with your neon sunglasses and Styrofoam cooler of PBR. Sure, the EP does strike a bit of similar note throughout, which makes you wonder if they could maintain this feeling for a full-length record, but overall, Hey There Stranger is a fresh, catchy listen that helps these guys stand out among their peers.

Rating:

Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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