Lucid Culture

JAZZ, CLASSICAL MUSIC AND THE ARTS IN NEW YORK CITY

CD Review: The Actual Facts – Pain/Pleasure

Let’s see…weren’t these guys on one of those Live from the Roxy compilations, 1977-ish? Loud punk/pop band with a lot of catchy tunes? Well, sort of. The Actual Facts are actually from Brooklyn, and the guys in the band probably weren’t even born yet when all those British bands they resemble were getting their fifteen minutes on the Top of the Pops. On their new cd, these British expats crank up the guitars and crank out the tunes with an energy that harks back to a decade when songs like this could actually score a record deal and get some airplay (that’s a compliment). The album opens with the sarcastic, propulsive Chaise Lounge, which pretty much sets the tone for the rest of the cd, frontman Tim Simmonds cutting loose with a yelp equal parts Morrissey at his most boisterous and eerie John Lydon, circa PiL’s Metal Box, 1978.The album’s second track, the title cut, works around a ridiculously catchy, four-note guitar hook, somewhat evocative of another first-class expatriate British band from Brooklyn, the Larch.

The best song on the cd is Cookie, a blazing, somewhat Stiff Little Fingers-inflected rocker, building to a fiery outro with ba-ba-ba vocals, adding layers and layers of guitar until the maelstrom is too saturated to add any more. And then the song ends with a few chords slammed out on an acoustic. After that, the brief Don’t Shave Down There is pretty much what you would expect, a tribute to the nether regions: “Do it for you, do it for humanity.” The sexual tension builds further on the next track, Come on Over: “Come on over, drunk or sober.” A Hand to Hold, the cd’s final cut, builds slowly over a fast upstroke/downstroke rhythm, the drums only coming in on the second verse, ending on the sardonic note on which it began: “Taking a seat in the back/Covering up my tracks/Always seemed the right way to go.”

These songs grow on you; the album gets better with repeated listening. If they can duplicate the energy on the cd, they should be excellent live. The Actual Facts play the cd release for the album at the Delancey on April 25 at 11, on a great bill with Paula Carino and Basement opening at around 8.

April 16, 2008 - Posted by | Music, music, concert, review, Reviews, rock music | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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