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Action Action has impressive debut

Marty Schroeder | Thursday, November 4, 2004

Action Action’s debut album on Victory Records includes some of the best emo songwriting to come out in a long time. It takes the synth of emo godfathers, The Get Up Kids, a step further, and also just plain rocks out. “Don’t Cut your Fabric to This Year’s Fashion” is an amazing blend of the “I just broke up with my girlfriend and it reeeeaaly hurt” mentality combined with a maturity that is rarely seen in an emo release. This album also makes some departures from the traditional emo-fuzzy guitars with a dash of heartbreak recipe. Synths, loops, and sequencers play along side the guitars and drums. The opening track, “This Year’s Fashion,” meanders through a weave of synth pop and crunchy guitars. This song displays some of the emotional tendencies of the band when frontman Mark Thomas Kluepfel croons, “Sweeten my tea you lied, you lied, you lied / you’ve got your hands around my throat / you’re got your eyes inside my back.” However, these typical lyrics are countered by the opening lines, “Head trip on the scene again, pumping in the veins of the rabid mouths to feed. / head back, obsolete / trapped with the secrets that I cannot keep today.” These lyrics will not be heard from the slew of punk “boy-bands” out there. Action Action is emotional but they write with a maturity that puts them a cut above the rest.”Photograph” is the first real upbeat song on the album and mixes a sugarcoated Andrew WK melody, which is actually quite disarming. Dan Leo’s drums drive this song forward and Adam Manning’s guitar adds the emotional punch to Kluepful’s lyrics: “And I never should have kissed those lips before / I never should’ve let you out my door.” “Instructions on Building a Model Airplane” is the hardest song on the album, giving more attention to traditional rock and less on the synths, even though they still play a part. This song is the sonic pinnacle of the album as it tears through its 2:28 track time, making it the shortest track on the album. However, after putting the pedal to the floor with that track, Action Action slows it down on the next song, “A Simple Question.” A wandering synth loop guides the first half of this song as Kluepfel laments on a relationship turned sour. About halfway through this song, however, the pace picks up and Kluepfel’s keyboards and Manning’s guitar walk hand-in-hand with a sound that ends the song on a happy note even though its lyrics are of a more morose nature.Perhaps the most visceral song on this album is the closing track, “The Short Weekend Begins with a Longing.” Keyboards open this track, as Clarke Foley’s thumping bass kicks in. The title gives away the theme of this song: contradiction. The chorus is a pleading “And when I get to dig too deep / when I get too high (I’ll never ask of you / I’ll ask of) and when I talk too much / don’t talk enough (I’ll never ask of you / I’ll ask of).” These lyrics run from the microphone like a teenager running into his room after his first heartbreak. The emotion is palpable and when Kluepfel yells, “And when I fall apart over the weekend / and the pills begin to stop working,” the seriousness of this song is made apparent.Action Action will make you laugh, and they will make you cry. They take emo and indie rock and meld the two with keyboards and mature song writing. This mixture of rock and synths is the next step in the world of popular rock music and Action Action have proven that they will be one of the harbingers of this trend with “Don’t Cut your Fabric to This Year’s Fashion.”