Versus The World
By: Eric G.
I've said it before and I'll say it again- it's ok to nick bits of other people's songs and styles as long as you do something original with them. Whether aware of it or not, everybody steals from their influences, so it's just a matter of being clever about hiding your sources. The Action Time doesn't heed such advice as it blatantly pillages the Clash songbook not to mention countless female punk bands' repertoires in the process, but the result still rocks like a cold bucket of water in the face.
The band takes on the daunting task of pitting itself against the corporate music industry (Versus The World). My cynical eye does note the fact that the band is on a comfortably successful label- independent though it is. The music is raw and ragged much like early British punk, but there's an healthy dose of late 1960's girl group harmonies, which ends up sounding like Kenickie (first album only, please) on mono. I can't fathom why it takes six people to make this simplistic racket, but who am I to question people "bored by the vulgar constructs of a capitalist record industry."
This music seems out of place on compact disc. It needs the hiss and scratch of vinyl to make its retro-schtick sound more authentic. The Action Time approaches its music with equal amounts of melody and disdain. You won't be surprised to hear that there's a huge R&B influence to go with the bob haircuts and black turtlenecks. It's hardly original stuff, but when it's this fun, who cares? You get the feeling these people (three guys/three girls) don't give much of a fuck about anything (at least that's what they want us to think), but they do have just enough self-awareness and pride to keep the songs rocking and upbeat.