Review: “Winter Haunts” by The Rational Academy


I know we are only two months into the year but I reckon that “Winter Haunts” by The Rational Academy will be the most beautiful album released by any Brisbane or Australian band in 2013. Across the course of nine sublime noise meditations The Rational Academy remind us why they are one of the most important bands in the history of the Australian music. I don’t really care what the popular belief is because quite frankly it’s wrong. The Rational Academy should be a subject taught to all the young folk attending Music College so that they can get an insight into how a real independent DIY band operates. They are that important to the cultural lexicon of Brisbane and Australian music and whether you’ve been a long-time fan or are just discovering them with “Winter Haunts” the time is always right to invest in The Rational Academy.

So what makes “Winter Haunts” so wonderful and important?

Well the easy answer is the great care that has gone into its creation but I reckon I need to go a bit deeper to sell you the spook. The music has a loose feel but there is also a strict pop discipline pulsating through every track. All of the musical experimentation and noise helps give context to the pop songs lurking underneath. It isn’t about showing off either skill, each song is a meeting place of extreme ideas condensed into smooth pop communications. You can tell that each band member is well versed in the history of music and the way it can influence your sonic dialogue. This is the album the band has been building too for their whole career and even though they have always been unique, the sounds that seduce you on “Winter Haunts” are their strongest yet. The album is a masterpiece of aches and shakes full of hypnotic swirls that take you away to landscapes of beauty and inter-dimensional time travel. This is inside music, to be consumed on your headphones alone, with the lights out as you contemplate every corner of your existence. As the title suggests it haunts and it is clearly coming from four haunted individuals who are collecting all of their internal worlds and through the power of music painting us a picture of their spooky shivers. This is indeed music for people who feel and who need to go deep when they invest in sound. There is not one bad moment contained throughout this album. To reduce it to even simpler terms, “Winter Haunts” gives me the same feeling that I get when I fall in love with a beautiful human being, that feverish feeling of being consumed with that famous Pisces prayer of “I love you so much, it makes me sick,” oh yes indeed you’ll crush hardcore on the sounds of this album.

So what the fuck are you waiting for, move, move, move and fucking buy this amazing piece of art and tell every single person you encounter about it.

The Rational Academy, may they live for a million years.

10 Cassette Tapes Out Of 10

By: Dan Newton

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