Bullz-Eye Home
Movie DVDs
Music DVDs
Celebrity Babes
The Opposite Sex
Stuff to Buy
Premium Members

Join  Enter

Cool Links

All Pro Models
Premium Hollywood
EatSleepDrink Music
Sports Blog
Cleveland Sports
Political Humor

CD Reviews: Review of An Army of Shapes Between Wars by Action Action
Harris Home / CD Reviews Home / Entertainment Channel / Entertainment Web Guide

Click here to buy yourself a copy from Amazon.com Action Action: An Army of Shapes Between Wars (Victory 2006)

Buy your copy now from
There’s something about Action Action that makes you a little distrustful of their motives.

Maybe it’s because the members of the group came from the bits and pieces of three emo bands (Reunion Show, Count the Stars, and Diffuser), then, upon the release of their debut album as Action Action, 2004’s Don’t Cut Your Fabric To This Year’s Fashion, managed to slap a sticker on its front which made a point of recommending it if you like the Killers. No, there’s no denying that fans of the Killers will dig the ‘80s-styled keyboard goings-on of Action Action, but to so blatantly and unabashedly advertise it on the front of their CD made it seem rather like these guys – Clarke Foley (vocals/bass), Adam Manning (guitar), Dan Leo (drums), and Mark Thomas Kluepfel (vocals/keyboards) – were doing some serious bandwagon-jumping.

Action Action’s new album, An Army of Shapes Between Wars, starts off by sounding not entirely dissimilar from its predecessor, which doesn’t exactly help their credibility cause. Opening track “Smoke and Mirrors” greets the listener by informing them in no uncertain terms that things haven’t changed very dramatically; a huge, hollow drum sound combines with Kluepfel’s synth to produce a solid beginning to the disc. Fortunately, as the disc progresses, the band makes a studied attempt at branching out beyond just the obvious synth-driven numbers. Songs like the almost power-pop “The Game,” the mope-meets-twee “What Temperature Does Air Freeze At?,” and the orchestral waltz stylings of “Attached to the Fifth Story” go a long way toward expanding Action Action’s sonic repertoire. “Paper Cliché” attempts to rock hard, but it’s ultimately not all that memorable…and, unfortunately, that’s a problem that clings to several other tracks as well, including “Analogue Logic” and about half of “Sleep Paralysis,” the latter descending into two interminable minutes of sounds which could’ve been taken from an early ‘80s video game.

The band’s biggest issue is that they come off as decidedly pretentious. Maybe they’re not; maybe it’s just me. Still, even if I wasn’t a music critic, I have to think that I’d still raise my eyebrows in uncertainty at a band who’d burden songs with lofty titles like “(Oh My Dear It’s Just) Chemical Frustration” and “120 Ways To Kill You: An Illustrated Children’s Book.” (This isn’t a new problem for the group, as evidenced by songs from their debut entitled “Instructions on Building a Model Airplane” and “The Short Weekend Begins with a Longing.”) In addition, the vocals oftentimes sound a little too smug for their own good, and, frankly, the material isn’t always strong enough to warrant such haughtiness.

If Action Action can further expand their palate, as they successfully do on about a third of this disc, they might actually be able to compete with the Killers. For now, they haven’t made it up to most critics’ “recommended if you like” list; they’re still in the area marked, “Skip the album and just download these few tracks.”

~Will Harris 


Bullz-Eye.com : Feedback - Link to Us  - About B-E - FAQ - Advertise with Us

© 2000-2005 Bullz-Eye.com®, All Rights Reserved. Contact the webmaster with questions or comments. Privacy Policy and Site Map