This is the band's second long-distance recording effort, its songwriting accomplished across the miles that span San Francisco, Los Angeles, and remote Waterville, Maine. As with Kids With Guitars, the band then convened at Tiny Telephone in San Francisco to record these six tracks, capping the experience off with a gala 15th anniversary show at SF's famed Bottom of the Hill club. Now, 18 years after Actionslacks formed in Berkeley, California, this self-titled EP serves as their swan song and farewell. Dedicated "to everyone who has ever supported, helped, believed in, put up with (or put up) our little band," Actionslacks is sure to please long-time fans and new converts alike.
The EP begins with the foreboding powerhouse "When Evil Comes Around" and moves into "Helen of Troy," the latest and greatest installment of the band's series of noise-pop gems (see also One Word's "The Look" and The Scene's Out of Sight's "Joan of Arc"). "Make My Day" features Tim Scanlin's signature acerbic wit and dark humor, juxtaposing the true horrors of the human condition with its petty annoyances. "The Rake's Progress" is a noir cabaret character sketch, a segment of an imaginary Actionslacks musical revue. "Why'd I Ever Set My Sights on You?" is novel territory for the band: a cow-punk tune inspired by Johnny and June Carter Cash's duets and featuring the first-ever guest vocalist on an Actionslacks record, the most talented Jeny Nicholson. Actionslacks closes with "Don't Merit a Mention," something of a posthumous statement of purpose featuring vintage 'slacks Rickenbacker guitar lines and the parting sentiment "there is no pension because rock and roll is its own reward."
Farewell Actionslacks. Long Live Actionslacks!
Produced by Actionslacks
Recorded at Tiny Telephone, San Francisco by Ian Pelicci
Mixed by J. Robbins at The Magpie Cage, Baltimore and Ken Andrews in Los Angeles
Mastered by Ken Andrews