Artist: Action Directe
CD Title: Vanguard
Label: October Projects
Out of the UK, Action Directe is and Industrial/punk outfit composed of core members John Hind and Joe Heyes with a series of performers augmenting the line-up. The band formed in Leeds in 2000, and after a hiatus of some time the band reformed and released their fourth full-length, “Vanguard.” The album’s eight songs mix radical politics, tight sequencing and a guitar-heavy punk aesthetic. As the band has progressed, Action Directe has incorporated a more-rounded sound with more emphasis on EMB influnced synths and sequencing.
The album opens with “Storming Heaven,” with a catchy synth lead, and chracterized by an earnest vocal delivery. “Break You” nods to Ministry, but the song is a driving EBM anthem in the vein of classic song by Controled Bleeding and others. “Epiphany” is noticeably more molodic and seems less overtly political that the songs preceeding it. The slow and lilting “Natty Droid,” with pianos in a near-waltz, nods to classic industrial and is among the album’s most interesting tracks --though it is too brief. “Red Dawn” opens with a driving EBM synthline, and Cold War-Era samples. A good track for the floor, it would move a crowd. The last song, “We Can Rebuild Us” surprises with a perfect pop hook and softer synths. Blending elements of punk and New-Wave, it’s a welcome surprise.
The whole album has an authenticity that recalls classic industrial acts. At first the drum programming struck me as simplistic, however, it is well-suited and probably intentional. For those that long for hard-hitting industrial with an out-front political agenda, Action Directe delivers.
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