Friday, 14 March 2014

The Actions - INDEFENSIBLE

EP review by soul1@thesoundofconfusion.com


Have you ever spent time watching TV channels like National Geographic or Discovery Science, or have you spent a few hours aimlessly surfing around YouTube? If so then you will probably have at some point stumbled upon programmes about cryptids, conspiracy theories or secret government cross-breeding experiments that have gone wrong. Music can seem like one big endless cross-breeding experiment, and The Actions fit that description perfectly, only this one doesn't go wrong. Far from it in fact. The songs on new EP 'INDEFENSIBLE' take bits and bobs from all over the place, neatly fitting them together to make their own appealing collage. Maybe this is down to having past tracks remixed, supporting or otherwise being associated with a range of acts that include R.E.M,, Tricky, I Am Kloot and Green Day. You couldn't really get that lot mixed up, could you?

Take opener 'The Echo'. This was perhaps produced by taking DNA from post-punk, goth, noise-pop, alt-rock, dreampop and darkwave and allowing them to ferment in a test-tube until the result was a palatable mix of the lot (and actually a little reminiscent of another band they've shared a stage with, Garbage). It doesn't feel disjointed, it really works and gives them some individuality. 'Counting All The Days' processes the same components in a different atmosphere, leaving us with something softer and more mysterious; the dreampop element really comes through, backed by a post-punk beat and some trippy effects. It's a winning formula again. Then the lights dim and the music takes a darker, more experimental turn; still using the same source material. The vocals on 'Indefensible' are whispered, the eerie background sounds contrast with the almost tribal drums, dubby bass and occasional flashes of shard-like guitar. It's an atmospheric one alright and it builds brilliantly before collapsing in on itself. 'So Still' comes from a similar place sonically, although it perhaps has a harsher tone: half-spoken vocals, edgier sounds as a whole, but then the most floaty and magical break on the EP. For once the word "ethereal" would be perfectly at home. Trip-hoppy closer 'Clouding Over Pt1' straightens things out at bit more again, but the crunching, tortured guitar still remains. This is one lab experiment where everything's gone according to plan.





The Actions' website

Stream or buy the EP

Catch them live:

WED 26 MAR Tooting Tram & Social, London, UK
WED 16 APR Paper Dress Vintage, London, UK
WED 23 APR Proud Camden, Camden, UK





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