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ACTORS ~ Cold Eyes [2⊘21]

If band ACTORS had been around in the eighties, without question they would have been bigger. With their crafty tunes loaded with enough earwormy goodness to dazzle and daze, track after track on seminal release ACTS OF WORSHIP shimmers with its own blissful blend of Roxy Music, David Bowie, Joy Division, and Bauhaus influences. And even with driving beats, massive hooks, and dramatic atmospheres equally melancholic and electrifying, it still bleeds a post-punk, coldwave, no-wave, darkwave, near Duran-esque synthpop but for its deeply interwoven darkness.

Originally formed in 2012, Vancouver, Canada, ACTORS, in their most recent iteration, is Jason Corbett – Vocals, Shannon Hemmett – Synth, Kendall Wooding – Bass, and Adam Fink – Drums. And not to imply unknown, the band is in fact well-recognized in the post-punk genre and features easily alongside similarly veined bands such as Bootblacks, Twin Tribes, Ash Code, and Agent Side Grinder. It is only that in previous eras, where musicians were largely unable to self-release their own music (at least successfully), the field would be far less crowded and allow for greater exposure to fewer acts. ACTORS would definitely be one of those acts, with talents transcending those of mere mortals.

Corbett confesses, “Cold Eyes was written and recorded in one day. Sometimes that just happens and it ends up being the band’s favorite song on the new album.” Besides providing lead vocals, Corbett also writes, produces, mixes, and masters all ACTORS’ music at his own Vancouver studio, Jacknife Sound, where his sonic sculpting is a significant component of their sound, as well as the sounds of other artists like Bootblacks and SPECTRES. “It’s about embracing who you are and having the confidence to do what you feel and not be afraid,” he shares.

Track “Cold Eyes” lumbers along beguiling us with its muscular broken-machine rhythms and no-wave sound at once repelling and enticing. This creative crux is the quintessential ambrosia in the mix. It is the gripping hook that drags us forward, seized, while the video weaves bandmember snippets of coy pleasure, mocking hostility, and gleeful irreverence. Together, they form a mixed cocktail of dark arts, deliciously designed to satisfy and still tantalize.

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