Action Directe have taken a lengthy absence from the Yorkshire music scene and they have come back with a very proud body of work.
The opener and title tune, ‘Slavs To The Rhythm’ is simply Industrial punk 101 – spacey synths, slamming drums and distorted guitars provide a solid backing for raw and defiant vocals. The positive influence of Killing Joke has never been more readily identifiable than on this. On the whole, it showcases a new breed of angry, relevant music that commands the attention of our alternative nation. These lads have moved away from their comfort zone into a far deeper and much darker corner of the musical spectrum, and it works very well. Note, the clever use of samples and how well they are spliced in against the machine beats and surprisingly uplifting tone. ‘Line in the Sand’ is a venom-fuelled dark-punk anthem for the disenchanted and uninspired. It packs one hell of a punch with a stomping beat and harsh riffs and it’s going to be a live standout for sure.
‘Smoke and Mirrors’ is furious in its onslaught and the various changes in pace and tone offer up a wholly different side to this outfit. There’s melodic bits and metallic shivers that run throughout making the song somewhat of a rollercoaster ride through various genres including EBM and straight-up hard rock.‘Total Kazakhstan’ is a little bit more old-school, and it blends a little wit (you have to love a Borat sample) with some danceable synths and a mosh-ready-heavy-as-hell chorus. Similarly, ‘Exit Plan’ fires off with some blistering guitars smashed nicely into soulful vocals for a kind of Ministry-meets-Joy Division epic. ‘Unholy Lands’ is the most relevant and determined track Action Directe have ever written, it’s an emotive politically-charged effort full of the spite and malice that made Action Directe such a valuable asset to the Northern alternative scene before they took some time out. It’s time to shake things up again boys, so…welcome back.
For more information visit the band’s Myspace and website.