Tuesday, December 05, 2006
Action Action--An Army of Shapes Between Wars (2006)
Album-An Army of Shapes Between Wars
Release Date-Jan 24, 2006
Label-VictoryGenre/Style-Alternative Pop/ Rock Indie Rock
Biography-Clarke Foley (vocals/bass), Adam Manning (guitar), Dan Leo (drums), and Mark Thomas Kluepfel (vocals/keyboards) create the sharp, moody dance-punk stylings of Action Action. The bandmembers came together in 2004 after their previous groups — the Reunion Show, Count the Stars, and Diffuser — disbanded. Action Action's debut album, Don't Cut Your Fabric to This Year's Fashion, was released on Victory in fall 2004. Spending most of their time on the road, Action Action followed up with An Army of Shapes Between Wars in January 2006; the band then jumped back on tour with the Sounds and Morningwood throughout March and April.
Review-An Army of Shapes Between Wars, the second long-player from Long Island's Action Action, finds the group expounding on the shiny, neon-addled new wave revival tack of its predecessor, 2004's Don't Cut Your Fabric to This Year's Fashion, and upping the artful quotient needed to keep them from being rendered a poor man's version of the Killers. With Cyndi Lauper vet William Wittman in the production seat, the vision of brainchild Mark Thomas "MTK" Kluepfel is captured proficiently, whether the outfit operates as a muscular, guitar-driven modern rock band ("The Game") or a synth-fostered pop act ("Smoke and Mirrors"). The latter is a commanding, retro-like winner with a quivering keyboard line and a memorable proclamation ("I'm done/Stick a fork in me") that could easily be a post-modern obscurity circa 1985. If "Sleep Paralysis" is nearly as strong, one can't help but think that the best action can be had when the band is in the guitar chirping mope-rocker mode of "A Tornado; An Owl." Perhaps it's just the atonal vocals on "Chemical Frustration" yielding listener frustration, but the Beatles-meets-Cure pop of "What Temperature Does Air Freeze At?" is sweet, sweet redemption. With that said, An Army of Shapes Between Wars is still more often hits than misses. Once Kluepfel gets over his identity crisis and decides what he wants Action Action to be, he just may turn out his masterpiece.