Aerial – Why Don’t They Teach Heartbreak at School? (2014)

It’s been a long time coming, but Aerial’s second full-length album, Why Don’t They Teach Heartbreak at School? has finally seen the light of day.

Founded in the late 1990s, the Scottish band drew instant approval from the power pop brigade in the form of their debut album Back Within Reach, as well as a pair of EPs — and there is no doubt Why Don’t They Teach Heartbreak at School? will duplicate such praise.

Locked tight with rocking guitars, watermelon-sized choruses, and arousing melodies, Why Don’t They Teach Heartbreak at School? (Kool Kat Musik) courts every power pop trick conceivable. But because Aerial’s songwriting skills are so strong and intuitive, fresh and exciting angles crop up continuously.

Armed with deft dynamics, Aerial embraces and executes their material with so much confidence and commitment that it’s impossible not to be lured into their orbit. Buzzing with traction, the absolutely pulsating “Cartoon Eyes Cartoon Heart” suggests a fantasy session between Cheap Trick, the Plimsouls, and the Ramones. Jaunty rhythms temper the walloping beat of the title track of the album, and the glimmering glee of “Japanese Dancer” crosses the quirky grooves of XTC and Weezer with the sunny harmonies of the Beach Boys. Packing a solid punch, “More Than Alcohol” and the progressively-arranged “Wave Goodbye To Scotland,” which features pretty piano trills, emotionally-wired vocals and a mushrooming climax, are other phenomenal pieces offered.

Potent singing and playing, attended by shimmering sonics give Why Don’t They Teach Heartbreak at School? a thick and healthy sound. It’s a scientific fact music affects moods, so if you’re looking to be energized both mentally and physically, here’s the album you’re seeking. Tingling and trembling with style and substance, Why Don’t They Teach Heartbreak at School? is a power-pop epic.

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson

Beverly Paterson was born the day Ben E. King hit No. 4 with "Stand By Me" -- which is actually one of her favorite songs, especially John Lennon's version. She's contributed to Lance Monthly and Amplifier, and served as Rock Beat International's associate editor. Paterson has also published Inside Out, and Twist & Shake. Contact Something Else! at reviews@somethingelsereviews.com.
Beverly Paterson