Somehow Houston's Tact Actors managed to encompass all my favorite things about indie rock music into their latest album Words. I would say that this group is a pack of indie rock aficionados. They seem very well versed in pop rock from the ’80s and all of the things that made the alt scene in the '90s so addictive. They are also avid scholars in bands that are iconic and seem to have created their own lightning in a bottle based on their studies.
The music on this album is packed to the brim with musical references that stretch across decades. I feel like their ability to pack all of these influences into one album is a noteworthy accomplishment. Songs like "Alive by Design" has a sound that hits a nostalgic chord with me. It could be a an inescapable alt hit from the '90s that you would hear every day on the radio. Then the track "Be Love" has a more classic rock experience that seems to hail from the ’70s. The toughest part I would imagine when constructing this romp through time is keeping it cohesive. Despite the elevated level in diversity in the songs, there are strong elements that bond everything together. Some of those key elements include seedy attitude, strong, catchy guitar riffs and a lively energy.
Words is a great name for this album, whether intended or not. This album is flexing serious lyrical muscles. There is a lot of anecdotal and conversational narrative at play in these songs. These are the kind of lyrics worth digging into, I have yet to really figure out how specific or vague the meaning is behind the words. The vocals are distant, cold and yet still full of energy and conviction. I appreciate that it appears there was as much focus on the lyrics as there was the musical presentation.
I went ahead and added Tact Actors to the list of bands that have successfully executed the wildly popular "home recording." They utilized an unexpected one-two punch of a more than slightly used Roland VS 2480 and Logic Pro to fill in the gaps. For mastering they got a helping hand from Gordon Gidluck of Gidluck Mastering. The album sounds pretty damn good. I think the mastering is part of what helped ground all these songs into the same energy field which kept the album flowing so nicely.
I like this album because old dirt bags like me can enjoy it, but for those that didn't live through music that sounded like this, this will be equally exciting. I can see the youngsters being drawn to cool brooding tones and electric energy like moths to the flame. Again, the scholarly efforts, which could just be very passionate fandom, has paid off in big ways. Through their influences they have found something that is theirs. Indie, alt, pop rock fans, one and all would all be heavily encouraged by me to check this album out.
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