ActionReaction - 3 Is the Magic Number (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


3 Is the Magic Number (2006)

Hope Division

You want the good news first? Lead singer Jason Gleason, who handled vocals for Further Seems Forever post-Carrabba, is really able to stage his own show now. ActionReaction doesn't sound anything like Further Seems Forever, and making such a clear distinction is the best thing the band could do. Then again, walking around saying "I don't smell like shit" doesn't mean you smell good.

If anything, ActionReaction sounds an awful lot like a modern-day U2 with a real passion for indie pop. That's not necessarily a bad thing. It would be a remarkable accomplishment had U2 not already written their best songs over ten years ago. ActionReaction seems to be embracing the parts of U2 that are easy to forget. Their songs seem to be complicated and grand on the surface. The band wants to create these kinds of songs, but what they have done instead is propped up a stage-like structure of songs where on the surface things seem detailed great, but when looked at from a different angle prove to be no more than propped mock-ups. The songs on 3 Is the Magic Number are enjoyable, that can't be taken away from the band. The band has also transcended its roots and have begun to forge a new identity. But what they have come out with is hollow radio rock with a less-than-full sense of sincerity. It's about as punk as U2, but no more U2 than Third Eye Blind.

In the biography included within, Gelason ponders over humanity's challenges and asks, "I wonder what would happen if (the world) ended tomorrow?" Well dude, I'll tell you what would happen -- nothing, the world would end. There wouldn't be an after-party (unless you want to start getting into that heaven jibber jabber). Perhaps the more relevant question would be if the world were to end tomorrow, how would it happen? Much like the questions asked by the band, their music might be interesting and thoughtful, but they're hardly relevant.