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A swirling, dark fusion of sonic grandeur and stripped down pop skeletons, Action Action are the result of a sea change - a chemical reaction in which synthy dark wave collides with guitar-driven indie rock. Killer guitar riffs, feedback walls, dance beats and Mark Thomas Kluepfel‘s spine-tingling wail paint visceral, haunting images that explore the similarities of divine opposites like life and death or love and war. Over the last two years Kluepfel‘s prolific songwriting underwent a dramatic evolution, from the sunny pop songs of his previous project, The Reunion Show, to the more intimate work on "Don‘t Cut Your Fabric To This Year‘s Fashion." Kluepfel explains, "I‘ve written many, many songs that were personal to me, and never shared them. I‘ve only shared songs that were mere empty calories. I suppose I got fed up with all the candy."
After naming the new project Action Action, the album was dubbed "Don‘t Cut Your Fabric To This Year‘s Fashion", an obscure quote from an interview with Gene Hackman on "The Royal Tenenbaums" DVD. "After watching the interview, it stuck with me, it just seemed like such a great way to articulate a concept that really resonates with me," Mark explained. Kluepfel was joined in the studio by Adam Manning and Clarke Foley, respectively, guitarist and bassist for the successful pop punk band Count The Stars and his old friend and The Reunion Show band mate Skully on drums. Foley and Manning proved to be most versatile, contributing vocals and synth work as well as guitar and bass. After the recording was completed Skully made the decision to begin working behind the scenes in the music industry, and Dan Leo was brought in to replace him, solidifying Action Action‘s core.
Recorded at Pie Studios in Glen Cove, Long Island and General George‘s studio in Lindenhurst, NY, the album was produced and mixed by William Wittman, famous for his work as Cyndi Lauper‘s exclusive producer for the past 15 years. Wittman took a page from the George Martin (Beatles) production book, recording in true stereo, panning between channels of drums, vocals or guitar - isolating instrumentation for an emblematic stamp on each song. Added atmosphere came courtesy of Allaire Studios, the site of David Bowie‘s classic recording, "Heathen." Housed in a haunted 1920‘s mansion on the Ashoken Resevoir in Woodstock, NY, the band was frequently visited by unknown presences.
The recording process was experimental to say the least. A wide variety of vintage keyboards came into play, from mellotron to Moog, Wurlitzer electric piano to a juno-60, often augmented by a numerous effects pedals. Some custom-made by Mark, the pedals provided a plethora of sounds and sonic washes that are entirely unique to the album. The band was especially thrilled to use a Univox Super Fuzz that was originally owned by Pete Townsend, and was used on the "Live At Leeds" recording. Specials guests were welcomed - Eddie Reyes from Taking Back Sunday plays guitar on "Bleed", Gary Bennett of Kill Your Idols contributes guitar to 8th Grade Summer Romance and Doug Robinson from The Sleeping adds vocals on "Broken". The studio aces also got into the act, with General George screaming on "Tiny Fragments" and William Wittman playing slide guitar on "Basic Tiny Fragments" and "Photograph", as well as backing vocals on "This Year‘s Fashion".
While the sheer dance-ability of "Don‘t Cut Your Fabric To This Year‘s Fashion" gives the initial impression of something frivolous, the songs comment darkly on the state of modern society. Drug references are rife throughout the album, something Kluepfel describes as a metaphor for the fatuous search for a quick fix that the world seems hooked on Ð drug or otherwise. "It seems like everyone is drugged, or desperate to find something to make them happy and make everything okay." Scientific trials are on-going, but all signs point to Action Action as the leading happiness inducement for the new millennium.