Music » Livewire

Lovedrug

With Action Action and Series. Wednesday, February 9, at the Grog Shop.

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What does an emo band like the Reunion Show do when its attempts to meld pleasant power pop with keyboards fall flatter than Ashlee Simpson's high notes? Why, completely reinvent itself as a band that could have been MTV darlings when Ms. "Pieces of Me" was still in diapers.

Enter Action Action, the neo-new wave project helmed by Reunion Show vocalist-keyboardist Mark Thomas. Thomas -- who inexplicably added Kluepfel to his surname for the new group, à la John Cougar Mellencamp's frequent moniker-shifting -- recruited ex-Count the Stars guitarist Adam Manning and bassist Clarke Foley for the band, which hunkered down in the emo enclave of Long Island to track its debut. The resulting disc, Cut Your Fabric to This Year's Fashion, possesses all the characteristics of modern synthpop: vocals snotty with fey melodrama and angst, keyboards reminiscent of A Flock of Seagulls, and buzzing, brooding guitars. Despite guest turns from guitarists Eddie Reyes (Taking Back Sunday) and Gary Bennett (Kill Your Idols); however, Fashion misses the key ingredient that makes fellow '80s-updaters Motion City Soundtrack and the Faint successful: memorable songs.

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