Thursday, May 27, 2010

EP Review: Actual Persons Living or Dead

Actual Persons Living or Dead

On their self titled release, Actual Persons Living or Dead presents a soft studio side which is a comfort that this three piece Durham garage rock confederacy seems to have saved back especially for the days and nights in the recording booth. Standing in a dimly lit house party living room on a hot August night two years ago, a modest group of Durham underground rock connoisseurs watched Actual Persons flex their strong arm of marchy drums, hot riff driven electric guitar, and despondently honest vocals as Joyce, Dave, and Kerry rolled up their sleeve and debuted a rocked up mix of emo garage punk. Live shows since then have delighted in following suit and assure many rockus head bobbing moments through the course of their set. Surprising then, that the first track of this release departs from classic garage rock style and trips toward a comfortable haze of chimes and mood interlude sounds for a solid minute before even hinting that you are listening to a rock album. The slow build of the first track's instrumental opening vibe followed by guitar in the middle and pointed vocal outtro serves as metaphor for the disc's six songs which are tracked for the same flow. Hints of the one-two punch build up are given early into the second song "Dogtown Commons" as the dense resounding of earthy and broad guitar work move across the track like a heavy freighter parting deep water through a sound. Prominently positioned guitar tone becomes a common theme from this point on and vocals are used late in the songs and only when the guitar has already said everything that needed to be said. The EP rounds out with the guilty pleasure of the re-purposed 1983 Cyndi Lauper cult classic "She Bop". Subliming the eeriness on an already darkened track, Actual Persons bleeds the pop out of "She Bop"...slowly transfuses emo vengeance back in, and re-animates it as a sanguine specter of it's former shape now possessed to serve as a vessel communicating the sobriety of emotions found within the album. From the sparse early arrangements of "Turkish Bloomers" to the hazy illusions of happiness drawn on a canvass of heartbreak in "...Or It's A Bunny" this EP is comfort food for the guitar hungry and Actual Persons serves it up for breakfast, lunch, and dinner across the album.

A free download of this EP sans "She Bop" is at the Actual Persons Living for Dead bandcamp profile. The EP in CD format with album art and the "She Bop" bonus track is available for a hand shake at live shows.

Actual Persons Living or Dead plays the Eskimo Kiss Records showcase at the Soapbox in Wilmington, NC for WE Fest this Sunday, May 30 2010.

For more on the Eskimo Kiss (goodbye) showcase, please click through to Deckfight

album art
Actual Persons Living or Dead
Actual Persons Living or Dead

1 comment:

  1. yeah, yeah thanx for the link & the shoutout. let's hook it up again sumtyme soon.