Western Education
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Western Education

Lowell, Massachusetts, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2011 | SELF

Lowell, Massachusetts, United States | SELF
Established on Jan, 2011
Band Rock New Wave




"Allmusic Review of Restless Dreams (4/5 Stars)"

As the carousel creaks to life, so does Restless Dreams, the sophomore outing for indie rock outfit Western Education. The Lowell, Massachusetts trio's first offering since their 2014 debut LP, Let Your Secrets Out, Restless Dreams focuses their vision into the most cohesive work of their career to date. By closing the gap between the grand synth rock of the Killers and the yearning passion of emo rock similar to My Chemical Romance or the Dear Hunter, Western Education have found their own voice. Restless Dreams is a darker, more intense experience than its predecessor -- less a compilation of influences and more the work of a single entity -- incorporating the mood of post-punk revival groups like Bloc Party and White Lies. Frontman Greg Alexandropoulos pushes his vocals to new and unexpectedly beautiful heights (the dreamy "Vampire Hours" is a stunner), releasing pent-up frustration and aching desire as dramatically as Brandon Flowers. While Will Hunt keeps everything afloat with his elastic bass (especially on the strutting "Whenever You Call"), guitarist Georgio Broufas delivers blistering guitar solos and amplifies the atmosphere with Interpol-esque explorations on tracks like "Running Wild" and the post-punk raver "Skin Deep." That latter track and "Different Animals" stand out as the most addictive and catchy tunes on the EP. While Restless Dreams is just a short seven songs long, it's a quick and sparkling dose of solid dance-rock. - Allmusic

"PopMatters review of "Restless Dreams" (3.5/5 Stars)"

Massachusetts trio Western Education are aware that they owe much to the titans of ‘00s rock. The band, who grew up “in a time when the Strokes were already elder statesmen”, draw heavily on the energetic sounds of their youth on Restless Dreams. At the same time, however, this release is gifted with a symphonic depth of production quality, allowing Western Education to put their own spin on the work of modern masters.

From the get-go, this balance between innovation and allusion is struck with passion and vibrancy. The EP’s opener, “Running Wild”, has a cinematic ambiance about it which is at times akin to Arcade Fire. At the same time, singer Greg Alexandropoulos’ vocals are reminiscent of Rise Against, or another melodic punk outfit. On this track, the band’s sound is bolstered with startling attention to production and instrumental ingenuity, as the trio seek to put their own stamp on the work of their inspirations.

Western Education are at their most powerful when Alexandropoulos’ emotional vocal stylings are mirrored by a sense of urgency in the band’s instrumental work. While “Skin Deep” and “Stay Inside” are able to pull this off, the band sometimes come up short when they mismatch powerful vocals with more mellow guitar work. The reverent “Vampire Hours” fits the bill here, and while their efforts to diversify are admirable, the trio lose some of their high-octane appeal in changing up their formula.

For the most part, however, Western Education are able to engineer an effective release with Restless Dreams. The music demands high involvement from the listener, but its energy and attention to detail certainly validate this call for attention. - PopMatters

"Loud, fun, and catchy: Western Education"

It was the perfect escape on a sweltering summer night. Small, intimate clusters of music fans dotted the dance floor in The Middle East’s downstairs venue in anticipation of Western Education’s performance of their debut album, Let Your Secrets Out. Audience members clutched clear plastic cups of beer and struggled to hold conversations over the general commotion as guitarist Georgio Broufas called for a mic check. As soon as the band struck the opening chords to their upbeat single “Peace,” however, the crowd reorganized into loose rows and turned to soak in the waves of synth music radiating from center stage.

The fact that drummer Mark Ragusa is known to break his sticks within the first few lines of this catchy dance track is a testament to the energy Western Education pours into their live shows. Their sound, which the band describes as a blend of The Killers, Interpol, and Muse, inspired onlookers to nod their heads in time with the beat while red and green stage lights swirled above. Because they had little choice but to stand within fifty or so feet of the enormous speakers beside the stage, many people also chose to wear earplugs. But even with this protective measure spectators could physically feel the bass thudding through their limbs.

Western Education was founded “grass-roots” style at UMass Lowell in 2011, when singer Greg Alexandropoulos plastered campus with fliers calling for fellow musicians interested in starting a band to reach out to him. While their personal style may differ — Alexandropoulos looked semi-formal in a vest, dress shirt, and tie while Ragusa donned a plain cotton tee — the bandmates share many (admittedly nerdy) common interests. Alexandropoulos claims to own “every horror video game out of Japan,” while Broufas has been dubbed “ a Guitar Hero fiend,” and Ragusa is participating in National Novel-writing Month.

Their third song, “Geneva,” was a standout with playful staccato piano chords contrasted by more a drawn-out melody sung in harmony by Ragusa and Alexandropoulos. When asked about the band’s composition process, Alexandropoulos mentioned that such melodies, whether vocal or instrumental, are almost always the first part of the song they write. “We have to make sure it’s going to be catchy,” he explained, emphasizing that one of the goals in recording Let Your Secrets Out was to make each track equally distinct and important. Thematically, many of the songs deal with relationships and facing fears about life and love.

In the middle of the song, Broufas, who had been dutifully rapping a tambourine against his leg during the first few verses, suddenly walked over to Alexandropoulos and placed the instrument on the singer’s head. Alexandropoulos was unfazed, however, when it fell to the ground a few moments later. He continued singing as if nothing had happened, to the amusement of the audience. Meanwhile, bass player Will Hunt remained curled over his instrument, apparently too focused to notice his bandmates’ antics.

While “Geneva” certainly captivated the audience members — many of whom clapped and cheered as the last few notes died away — some began to lose interest toward the middle of the set, checking their phones or leaning in to shout to one another over the music. Broufas’ rousing cry of “can we get a little clap action?” was met with mixed results, and the jaunty guitar riff at the beginning of “Rivals” was not quite enough to recapture the crowd’s attention. Enthusiasm reached a low point during the slow ballad, “Lost Art.”

Nevertheless, the band quickly regained momentum with the rumbling drums and sudden crescendos of “Yong Love,” the song from which the album title was derived. Alexandropoulos explained that for him, “let your secrets out” is a way of saying that he will admit certain things through the lyrics that he might not say in person, though it was occasionally difficult to distinguish the lyrics during the live performance.

The band concluded their roughly forty-minute set with “Loyal Satellite,” Alexandropoulos’s personal favorite track from the album. The song, which is a tender reflection on how to make the most of the moment, was evidently personal to him, and he briefly folded over his keyboard at the end before springing up to join his bandmates in thanking the audience for their support.

“Let Your Secrets Out” can be purchased on iTunes. - Sound of Boston

"Western Education CD review"

Peace is a high energy track that links together emotive rock, Franz Ferdinand, New Order, and the Psychedelic Furs. With a deft blending of electronic and raw human emotion, the music that is crafted on Let Your Secrets Out is impressive. With each side of the band chugging away at high gear, the band will have the minds and hearts of listeners by the end of the introductory track on Let Your Secrets Out.
I Can’t Heal keeps thing quick as the vocals are given a spotlight. The guitars do their duty in establishing further narrative, while the rest of the instruments fill the gaps to create a wall of sound that will ultimately destroy anyone listening in. There is nary a place to breathe on Let Your Secrets Out, something is shown quite clearly during Ashes and Sea. While Ashes and Sea has more tender moments, the ferocity that bubbles underneath the twinkly instrumental arrangements keeps the momentum of Let Your Secrets Out while further bolstering the band’s deep palette.
Western Education slows things down with Lost Art, a track that would work perfectly in any eighties movie (e.g. Breakfast Club, The Chocolate War). The usage of darkly brilliant synthesizers during this track provides the perfect counterpoint to the soaring dual-part vocals of the track. Ideal Situation is a track that slides in nicely to the works of bands like Chromeo or late-career Good Charlotte; this disco-esque romp keeps things happy and bouncy even as a forlorn sadness creeps into the background. Let Your Secrets Out is currently available on iTunes. Visit the band’s Facebook or domain for more information about this album, live dates, or further information.
Top Tracks: I Can’t Heal, Ashes and Sea
Rating: 8.8/10 - Neufutur Magazine

"Western Education – Let Your Secrets Out"

Earlier this year, Western Education released their debut album Let Your Secrets Out. The quartet, which was formed by lead singer Greg Alexandropoulos at UMass, describe their band as “A modern indie-dance blend of The Killers, Interpol and Muse”. It’s about time to check out this Lowell based band.
Both album opener “Peace” and closing songs “Young Love” and “Loyal Satellite” deliver the stadium filling, synth-driven rock ballad that you’d expect from a band that wants to tie themselves to The Killers. “Peace” and “Young Love” come with a high dosage of heavy guitars while “Loyal Satellite” provides a mellower finish to the album. However the other eight tracks prove that this is in fact a debut album, as Western Education take off on a musical voyage, trying to explore which musical direction it should move in.
As J.R.R. Tolkien once wrote, “Not all those who wander are lost.” Western Education shows itself mastering most of the genres they pursue. “Geneva” is pushed forward by Greg Alexandropoulos’ piano power chords. This personal favorite of mine is a welcome alternation after two pieces of guitar work (even though the band doesn’t exactly steer clear of guitars either). In “Rivals” the foursome goes down a darker path. The guitars sound more distorted and drummer Mark Ragusa bangs his toms with a fiery passion. The sixth track “Ashes and Sea” features a rather funky bass line which puts Will Hunt at the top of his game.
And then there are “Look Away” and “Lost Art”, two synth-driven pop ballads, and in my honest opinion the least favorable songs on the album. Though calling these songs bad would be a gross overstatement, they just don’t seem to fit in with the rest of the album. Of course, this must have something to do with the search that I mentioned before and they are probably just trying out new stuff. If I can give the guys one piece of advice it would be to steer clear from the mellower songs and do what you’re best at: hard hitting, anthem-like rock ballads.
Let Your Secrets Out is a great debut album, there’s no doubt about it. It may feel a bit eclectic at times and some paths may have better gone unwandered but let us overlook these (let’s call them) rookie mistakes. Now that their bags are packed with experience from this first full length release I am very much looking forward to their upcoming releases. E for excellent! - Delusions of Adequacy

"New Wave Machine"

Once National Geographic wraps up its pretty entertaining three-night mini-series special on the ’90s, we’ll have successfully dried up any leftover nostalgia for the latter decades of the 20th century. Nat Geo asks if the ’90s were the last great decade, but as we’re now 15 years into the new millennium, it feels like the ’90s were simply just the last decade.

So where do we go from here? The world doesn’t seem ready for a fond look-back at the 2000s, no matter how many Y2k-wave playlists Boston writer Luke O’Neil creates on Spotify, especially since the past 14 years have essentially been sporadic re-boots of everything that came before it. No one really commemorated the the New Year’s Eve that brought us from ’09 to ’10.

With Western Education’s debut LP Let Your Secrets Out, officially out today, we’re getting perhaps one of the first Boston rock records — via the band’s hometown of Lowell — that wears its unapologetic early-2000s pride on its synth. And it firmly casts the 2000s as its own beast.

When we gave the New Ordered treatment to the Killers’ masterful debut Hot Fuss last month, we got the sense that maybe the musical landscape from a decade ago deserves more credit than it gets. The gents in Western Education, now all in their early-20s, were shaped musically by that era, as traces of the Killers and My Chemical Romance shine through their debut in one grand spectacle fit for 2004.

Releasing a full-length album is tricky business here in the frightful 2014, but a string of sterling singles (“All I Am,” “Rivals,” and “Peace,” all found here) give Let Your Secrets Out a nice “best-of” quality. Standout album cuts like the post-disco shake of “Ideal Situation” and synth-rock scorcher “I Can’t Heal” glow like future singles, and a case can be made for each of the record’s 11 tracks. It all adds up to a throwback futuristic sound that at the end of the day is just catchy-ass rock and roll.

You can stream Let Your Secrets Out below via Soundcloud, download it from iTunes, or order the compact disc via Big Cartel (CDs? How’s that for new old school?). - Vanyaland


"Let Your Secrets Out" (2014)

"Restless Dreams" (2016)



From Allmusic.com:

Children of the '90s, Western Education grew up in a time when Nirvana was classic rock and the Strokes were already elder statesmen. Formed by lead singer Greg Alexandropoulos, who also plays keys, Georgio Broufas on guitar and backing vocals, and producer Will Hunt on bass, the trio -- along with original drummer Mark Ragusa, who left the band in 2015 -- crafted a mix of earnest, passionate rock in the vein of turn-of-the-millennium angular indie and emo-rock. In 2011, the bandmembers met at the University of Massachusetts in Lowell and bonded over a shared love of the Killersthe Strokes, and Franz Ferdinand. That early-aughts ilk influenced much of their initial sound, but Alexandropoulos' vocal delivery owed more to the dramatics of Panic! At the Disco's Brandon Urie than that other Brandon from the Killers -- more yearning plea than cocky showman. After self-producing a pair of EPs in 2012, they received local New England radio airplay, were shortlisted as one of the best new bands in Boston in 2013 (by The Boston Phoenix), and were semi-finalists in the 35th annual Boston "Rock N Roll Rumble," sharing that title with former competitors like the Dresden DollsLemonheads, and Morphine. Their debut, Let Your Secrets Out, was released in 2014 and was produced by members of the Color and Sound and Pray for Sound. Mixing styles and genres, the album included the singles "Rivals" and "I Can't Heal." The band returned in 2016 with the Restless Dreams EP, which featured the singles "Skin Deep" and "Different Animals." On Restless Dreams, they bridged the gap between their synth- and emo-rock influences, incorporating darker post-punk tones similar to Interpol and Bloc Party.

Band Members