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Academy Review

by Stephen Cramer

From the opening of "Shakytriggerfinger," David Uskovich's SWITCHhiTTER project shines in the world of violent and chaotic punk rock. Uskovich previously worked in the bands Sweet Pea and Distorted Pony, which gave him the opportunity to work with Steve Albini to create scorching sounds of edgy rock. On this project, he called upon drummer Ron Miller and bassist Jason Ward to add a dramatic rhythm section behind his own abrasive guitar and vocals. The Austin, TX, trio shines on Academy, with frantic guitars mixed with pounding drums and reverberating bass. Raging guitars are the most prominent feature on the disc, combined with Uskovich's confident and piercing vocals. "Can You Tell That I'm Punk?" features Ward's most impressive work on bass, while Miller's drumming at the beginning of "Hawaii 5-0" sets the tone for one of the disc's most energetic tracks. The disc ends with "Winslow," which starts off subdued, then quickly increases tempo and energy to add some final scorching instrumentation to the disc. The music is angst-ridden and abrasive throughout. Academy was recorded on eight- and 16-track recorders at Sweatbox Studios. Jimmy Burdine performs trumpet on some tracks. Framed Records released the disc in 1999.

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