Houstonians Steven James and Evan Gamble have come a long way since dominating Stratford High School's Battle of the Bands in the late '90s. Now the founders of Austin-based Two Guy Trio have formed a side project, Good Luck Academy, debuting with The Fall Semester EP. With drummer "Sexy" Rexy joining James and Gamble, who share the vocals, GLA can't help but recall Two Guy's sunny radio-friendly sound, à la Kings of Leon and early Third Eye Blind. First single "Amsterdam" employs a somewhat odd major/minor chord change in the chorus, the kind that's unusual enough to sound almost wrong but hooky enough to be memorable. This cheeky edge carries into the lyrics as well. Lines like "Little cocaine hookups were always the best bet" get followed by innocent "na-na-na" refrains. If the EP has one downfall, it's a lack of a focused, consistent sound. Then again, a band that delivers groovy bass solos ("Take Her Out Tonight"), piano-driven power ballads ("The Salty Sea") and Weezer-worthy anthems ("Carpet Surfing"), all within the span of seven tracks, clearly has a lot to offer. If nothing else, Good Luck Academy is an indie band that won't be pigeonholed.
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