Review of And Academy "Her and Hurt, Hearts"
"Another superb release from an ensemble based in Wichita, US and who unbeknownst to us have been putting out release after release since 1998, most of which are sadly out of print and from the evidence of this album cassette all (probably) top-drawer gear. When their not creating intricate sonic bubble-scapes like the storm lashed ‘Red wine walls and silk’ with it’s armoury of lush like swirling melodies, And Academy do a neat ethereal take on the Cure as though Smith and Co had been drip fed Prozac and forced against will to sit out in the sunshine as ‘Miracle dare devil’ so ably proves while all the time being booted into shape by the faintest of Spector-esque handy work diligently pulling the strings from the background. Still not convinced, then maybe the dream like inducing cosmically bound up curvaceous chords that cascade throughout ‘Zero plus zero plus zero’ might just make you swoon or the wax and wane like dynamics that softly permeate throughout ‘Swim, bike’. Flip over to side two and things get a little more angst ridden, dislocated, angular and dare we say in our humble opinion better. Unusual time signatures become the byword as And Academy attempt to throw you off the scent, from the almost clumsy moodist mechanics of ‘Warmer dead cold’ which splutters out impatiently almost as if its tripping itself up on its own haste to reach you. ‘Lovers and Daughters’ really is something else as it cleverly manages to thread progressive rock templates with a gritty shoe gaze under carriage and emerges from the fusion with wind swept magnificence. Best of the set though is the uncharacteristically breezily lilting ‘Barbara killed Roger’. Softly basking under clear extra terrestrial skies its what the words smooth and tender were made for, imagine Stereolab at their most serenely carefree making the Pale Saints hearts break. Another essential release I’m afraid."
(10-07-04, losing today.com)