Action Action - Don't Cut Your Fabric To This Year's Fashion (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Action Action

Don't Cut Your Fabric To This Year's Fashion (2004)


As we enter the last month of the year, it's almost become certain that 75% of the fine young music enthusisasts reading this is absolutely disgusted with the non-stop barrage of 80s-inspired offerings as of late. From Interpol's Joy Division odes and Franz Ferdinand's tributes thereof all to The Killers' New Order aping, the majors are thrusting a rehashment of two decade-old sounds into our laps, and we either welcome it into our tightly sewn, crotched laps or vomit at the very sight and sound of it. Action Action is the latest addition to this lineup, and what they're doing is a fair representation of the fad as a whole, if not relatively unoriginal and a bit weighty on the uninspired side despite the title that seems to imply everything this album isn't.

Billed as ex-Reunion Show and ex-Count the Stars, the influence of the former outshines the latter, thankfully. Armed with keyboards that basically drown out the band themselves, moog, Wurlitzer, and juno-60s throw a washboard wall of sound against the horizon under Mark Kluepfel's new wave warble, which seems appropriate for the semi-melancholic nature of the album. The way he croons his faux-Brit tremor in "Drug Like" is where he best represents himself. Don't Cut Your Fabric..., which was actually named after a quote from an interview with Gene Hackman on the DVD for "The Royal Tennebaums," owes much to Depeche Mode and much less to pop hooks than former projects ever did. The band even tries to tie the theme in, as the second to last track, "Don't Cut Your Fabric," uses the same lyrics as the album's opener, "This Year's Fashion," only speeded up. There's a small gaggle of guests on the album as well. The Sleeping's Doug Robinson contributes vocals on "Broken," Taking Back Sunday's Eddie Reyes guitar on "Bleed," and even Kill Your Idols's Gary Bennett does some guitar for "8th Grade Summer Romance."

Aurally, it's still well off from the band's members' former endeavors, though the bouncy "Photograph" comes close to Kill Your Televison territory. Beyond the surface comparisons, or lack thereof, lies a very similar fault. The Reunion Show was hurt in the studio by intangible energy and overproduction, and it's essentially the same problem here. Having seen most of these songs live, it's safe to say that though the style is well-played, it just rests within a live setting much easier than the two speakers the CD is afforded.

It's a decent album, and well-played for what it is, but Don't Cut... falls victim to the confines that recording administers, not to mention dragging in places thanks to its overambitious push (it clocks in around 50 minutes). It's odd that such an album could find fault in what it does when it's perfectly suited to fail because of its associated "genre," but I suppose you could find some sort of refreshing feeling in that case. Nevertheless, it's simply a solid "debut" from a band who, without endorsing trend-hopping, would probably need to evolve drastically to stay interesting and relevant.

Drug Like