With their release in 2004, Don’t Cut Your Fabric to This Year’s Fashion, Action Action became an integral part of the “nouveau-wave movement” that had been fast sweeping across the music scene. Even two years later, this sound hasn’t become tiresome. Their latest album, An Army of Shapes Between Wars, takes what they did so well in their 2004 debut album and expands on it, resulting in a beautifully crafted album that mixes thick guitars with keyboard and synth to create a sound that hasn’t been done so well since the mid-‘80s.
While most listeners would probably compare Action Action to recent acts such as The Killers, those who pride themselves on knowing a little something about the history of music would recognize in their familiar, yet still distinct, sound the influence of bands like New Order and, most notably, The Cure. The difference, however, between Action Action and other bands is that their sound varies so much throughout the course of the entire album that it’s impossible to pigeonhole them into just one specific musical genre. Their songs run the gamut from soft and melancholy to upbeat and poppy, and while other artists might not be able to get away with switching gears so often on one album, Action Action execute the transitions so perfectly that you find yourself eager for the surprise that each new song brings.
More often than not, bands like Action Action get overlooked, simply because so much of their sound is comprised of the energetic pop beats that people automatically dismiss as musical fluff. If you listen closely, however, you’ll hear songs that aren’t just easy on the ears, but that speak to the heart as well. Call it a throwback to the ‘80s if you must. I just call it a fantastically constructed album.