Acts of Worship by Actors Album review by Greg Walker for Northern Transmissions

Artoffact Records

7

Actors

Acts of Worship

On their latest album, Acts of Worship, Vancouver favorites Actors have traded their post-punk for 80s euro synth pop. It’s a dark gothic record, filled with heartache and black romance.

“You say you’re mine / like suicide / no way out / no way out.” Like their edgy video for the single “Only Lonely” which takes inspiration from Natural Born Killers, it is a soundtrack for the disillusioned, the twisted soul.

It adds to the mix bassist, Kendall Wooding, who lays down a beautiful foundation of grit for their pitch-perfect synth-heavy rock. It also equals out the female-to-male ratio of the band, which gives the band much more range from song to song. “I’m waiting for your cold eyes / I’m waiting for you.” The songs play like short stories, something futuristic and perhaps Victorian at the same time.

It’s much more of a throwback sound than their debut album, recalling bands like Duran Duran, David Bowie, Depeche Mode, and Bauhaus. The songs are perfect ear worms, especially if you like that 4AD dark wave era of music. “In the dead of night / when you’re all alone / the shadows call / and swallow your soul.” It’s like club music for vampires and would be a super fun show to see, all the different high and low frequencies playing on your lovesick heart.

It was a surprising development, this album from the last, finding them perhaps more in the arena of pop construction. The one disappointment for me is that it loses (or buries in the mix) some of the great post-punk guitars from the first album. It’s dancey in a different way from the first album, and is less cutting edge and more derivative, in my opinion, and I have to wonder how their stalwart fans will respond to the change. “Only lonely / give me your good side.” It’s still a killer record, recorded fully in singer Jason Corbett’s studio, Jacknife Sound. It adds more material to the many-year Vancouver act’s repertoire. Hopefully they get to tour and you can see them rock this dark wave treat.

pew-order Acts of Worship by Actors HERE