Energetic Action
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Energetic Action

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | SELF

Edmonton, Alberta, Canada | SELF
Band Alternative Avant-garde

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"Energetic Action - Becoming - Self-Released"

Opening an album with a seven-minute nervy, prog-punk song is a bold move, but Energetic Action’s raw talent and technical propensity blast out right from the onset of their new LP, Becoming. The opening salvo and title track begins to a driving beat lacerated by guitar scrapes as vocalist Keaton Basset demands that words are spoken plainly. It’s like a friend walking up to you, handing you a Sartre novel, telling you to read it, and then standing there to watch you while you do it. Becoming is exceptional because it has an ability to seem vaguely familiar yet remain challenging and artfully accessible.

This is a full-on post-punk album, but the intricate rhythms and dissonant guitar riffs share more with Canadian prog-punk denizens NoMeansNo than with the well-worn influence of Joy Division. The best example of this comes during the peak of the title track, where one cymbal/guitar stab-beat is progressively added to each successive measure. It’s also an interesting way to highlight the next-level chops that drummer Robert Burkowsky brings to a band already densely packed with talent.

The album is replete with these kinds of displays: on “Yellow,” bassist George Synnett skillfully drops thick bass chords, effectively punctuating David Finkleman’s sharp guitar chords and rhythmic scratches. “Laura Riding on the Bus” would make a perfect single, instantly danceable and infectious. “Night Wood” meanders sparsely with a tension and eventually gives way to the jagged chaos of “In the Hour Before I Sleep,” a tightly wound power-line snapping to shoot electric sparks in every direction. Throughout “Wounds,” Bassets intense poetic shouts sit a little lower in the mix creating an enthralling lyrical Rorschach blot. Towards the end, “The Lapping Sea” channels the wild dynamics of In/Casino/Out-era At the Drive-In, while album closer, “In the Morning,” eschews drums altogether, leaving a slightly unfinished feel but rounding out Becoming with a trailing dénouement.

Energetic Action have a rare kind of bravado too compelling to ignore and, with an album as self-actualized as Becoming, they are well passed the formative stage, arriving with a brilliantly crafted fervour. - Beatroute Magazine


"Energetic Action - Becoming - Self-Released"

Opening an album with a seven-minute nervy, prog-punk song is a bold move, but Energetic Action’s raw talent and technical propensity blast out right from the onset of their new LP, Becoming. The opening salvo and title track begins to a driving beat lacerated by guitar scrapes as vocalist Keaton Basset demands that words are spoken plainly. It’s like a friend walking up to you, handing you a Sartre novel, telling you to read it, and then standing there to watch you while you do it. Becoming is exceptional because it has an ability to seem vaguely familiar yet remain challenging and artfully accessible.

This is a full-on post-punk album, but the intricate rhythms and dissonant guitar riffs share more with Canadian prog-punk denizens NoMeansNo than with the well-worn influence of Joy Division. The best example of this comes during the peak of the title track, where one cymbal/guitar stab-beat is progressively added to each successive measure. It’s also an interesting way to highlight the next-level chops that drummer Robert Burkowsky brings to a band already densely packed with talent.

The album is replete with these kinds of displays: on “Yellow,” bassist George Synnett skillfully drops thick bass chords, effectively punctuating David Finkleman’s sharp guitar chords and rhythmic scratches. “Laura Riding on the Bus” would make a perfect single, instantly danceable and infectious. “Night Wood” meanders sparsely with a tension and eventually gives way to the jagged chaos of “In the Hour Before I Sleep,” a tightly wound power-line snapping to shoot electric sparks in every direction. Throughout “Wounds,” Bassets intense poetic shouts sit a little lower in the mix creating an enthralling lyrical Rorschach blot. Towards the end, “The Lapping Sea” channels the wild dynamics of In/Casino/Out-era At the Drive-In, while album closer, “In the Morning,” eschews drums altogether, leaving a slightly unfinished feel but rounding out Becoming with a trailing dénouement.

Energetic Action have a rare kind of bravado too compelling to ignore and, with an album as self-actualized as Becoming, they are well passed the formative stage, arriving with a brilliantly crafted fervour. - Beatroute Magazine


"Energetic Action - You Have To Know Yourself To Get Something Out Of Yourself"

Edmonton post-punk mavens Energetic Action take motions and make them into sounds: a simple conversion of energies born out of silence. The experimental quartet is reminiscent of the angular post-punk of Gang of Four, while each member’s eclectic taste maintains a composite that is distinct and evolving. I wanted to learn more about this Edmonton favourite, so I spoke with vocalist Keaton Bassett about their project.

“You can’t find what it is that you want to say by hearing someone else say it,” Bassett, the primary lyricist, explains. He thoughtfully pairs lyrics with a high intensity to music of a similar vein. Paradoxically, he also enjoys silence in the process: “I enjoy not listening to anything for periods of time. It helps find your own sound. The things that are particular to yourself.”

The group is composed of David Finkelman (guitar, trumpet), George Synnett (bass, guitar), Robert Burkosky (drums, guitar) and Bassett, who, when asked, couldn’t recall how long the band had been together. He and Finkelman were roommates and began creating music together during a dark time. “We would always make concrete music between the two of us in long periods of silence. Eventually, we decided we should make music together to be performed,” he explains. Synnett and Burkosky later joined the duo.

While the necessity of making music brought these four together originally, that necessity alone is not what has kept them together through their differences. Bassett explains, as I prudishly chuckle, that it is kind of like coitus: “You have these incredible moments of joy and togetherness… There is a moment that is beautiful that is shared when we are playing or practicing.”

Walls, their demo/cassette full-length was produced by Mike Tulley and Energetic Action and was self-released in August 2011 before the band played any shows. Their first show didn’t have any other bands on the bill and was a performance of Walls in its entirety.

You will most likely catch these fellows playing at their favourite venues in Edmonton: Wunderbar or the Artery. Bassett has a strong appreciation for fellow Edmontonians Ben Disaster, Field + Steam and Jason Dublanko. Bassett notes that these are “artists who will cultivate themselves and deliver themselves. A lot of people try to give something but they don’t know what it is. It is hard to get something out of something that doesn’t have knowledge of itself.” - Beatroute Magazine


"Energetic Action"

Stylistic boundaries are not in the vocabulary of Energetic Action, a local experimental post-punk four-piece set to release its long-awaited debut LP, Becoming.

Each band member brings their own eclectic taste to the group, which has becoming a melting pot of aggressive punk-rock rounded out by strong influences of jazz, funk, world music and even some modernist poetry. Energetic Action got together about five years ago after getting to know one another through playing in various punk bands, eventually bonding over a desire to try something a little different.

"I think it just comes from getting older and growing and having your musical palate expand," guitarist David Finkelman says. "I feel, and I think the rest of the band feels, that it just gets boring playing the same thing again and again, so we've tried really hard not to limit ourselves in any way to one musical genre, which might make us a bit of a mixed bag because we really jump around musically a lot, but I think we still maintain that musical identity."

Energetic Action's new LP is a self-produced endeavour that explores the notion of "becoming" as starting from nothing, as lead singer and lyricist Keaton Bassett believes we all do. He explains we as humans are in a perpetual state of becoming, searching for meaning in our lives.

"We are continually generating meaning," he says. "We make the things that we see in this life in that we choose to look here and there, at pains and joys. The idea of becoming is to see one's creative role in fashioning perspective. By creative I mean development of awareness. We are all perfect creatures complete in ourselves, with eyes in our heads looking forward in time. From this perspective it seems that we are continually realizing our future selves, but we are constant in our perfection."

The songs on Becoming have been in the bag for some time now, and in order to avoid it all becoming stagnant, the band, which will also be making its Sled Island debut in June, has been working with saxophonist Nathan Pilon since last fall.

"Just playing these songs for that long, it can be pretty tiring if you want to just do them the same old way, so we try to keep things different, keep things new and I think a saxophonist is really going to make the songs a lot better," Finkelman adds. "We're always looking to collaborate with different people." - Vue Weekly


"Energetic Action"

Stylistic boundaries are not in the vocabulary of Energetic Action, a local experimental post-punk four-piece set to release its long-awaited debut LP, Becoming.

Each band member brings their own eclectic taste to the group, which has becoming a melting pot of aggressive punk-rock rounded out by strong influences of jazz, funk, world music and even some modernist poetry. Energetic Action got together about five years ago after getting to know one another through playing in various punk bands, eventually bonding over a desire to try something a little different.

"I think it just comes from getting older and growing and having your musical palate expand," guitarist David Finkelman says. "I feel, and I think the rest of the band feels, that it just gets boring playing the same thing again and again, so we've tried really hard not to limit ourselves in any way to one musical genre, which might make us a bit of a mixed bag because we really jump around musically a lot, but I think we still maintain that musical identity."

Energetic Action's new LP is a self-produced endeavour that explores the notion of "becoming" as starting from nothing, as lead singer and lyricist Keaton Bassett believes we all do. He explains we as humans are in a perpetual state of becoming, searching for meaning in our lives.

"We are continually generating meaning," he says. "We make the things that we see in this life in that we choose to look here and there, at pains and joys. The idea of becoming is to see one's creative role in fashioning perspective. By creative I mean development of awareness. We are all perfect creatures complete in ourselves, with eyes in our heads looking forward in time. From this perspective it seems that we are continually realizing our future selves, but we are constant in our perfection."

The songs on Becoming have been in the bag for some time now, and in order to avoid it all becoming stagnant, the band, which will also be making its Sled Island debut in June, has been working with saxophonist Nathan Pilon since last fall.

"Just playing these songs for that long, it can be pretty tiring if you want to just do them the same old way, so we try to keep things different, keep things new and I think a saxophonist is really going to make the songs a lot better," Finkelman adds. "We're always looking to collaborate with different people." - Vue Weekly


"Energetic Action"

Fidgety drums, scritchy guitars, biting yowls or ghoulish croons which seem to echo from a cavern of ice — these are the hallmarks of Energetic Action’s new eight-song LP, Becoming.

The local foursome, fronted by Keaton Bassett, describe themselves as a “free-punk experimental music and performance group” and “a free and continuous reshaping of vision.”

As intimidating as those quotes might be, Energetic Action’s music is easy to get sucked into — think of the band as a looser, jazzier version of Bauhaus, with songs inspired by Christ, a 1946 novel by Djuna Barnes, and the relatively mundane experience of riding the bus.Fidgety drums, scritchy guitars, biting yowls or ghoulish croons which seem to echo from a cavern of ice — these are the hallmarks of Energetic Action’s new eight-song LP, Becoming.

The local foursome, fronted by Keaton Bassett, describe themselves as a “free-punk experimental music and performance group” and “a free and continuous reshaping of vision.”

As intimidating as those quotes might be, Energetic Action’s music is easy to get sucked into — think of the band as a looser, jazzier version of Bauhaus, with songs inspired by Christ, a 1946 novel by Djuna Barnes, and the relatively mundane experience of riding the bus. - The Edmonton Journal


"Energetic Action - Walls"

What isolation inspires is what Walls captures. A quartet of young non-Mancs beholden to post-performance for an undivided past; mongo-beat slaves in (and to) a sincere place of revisionist zeitgeist. Keaton Bassett lays a thick vocal fabric, multidimensional in a nuclear sunlight — and the light’s brighter. In all ways, music hardened from what might be generations of reflection rings with undisturbed nascency. This sooty pantomime — not time after time, but this time — plays in front and inside us. Slick packaging, Zappa rendition, GRIP. - Weird Canada


"Energetic Action - Walls"

What isolation inspires is what Walls captures. A quartet of young non-Mancs beholden to post-performance for an undivided past; mongo-beat slaves in (and to) a sincere place of revisionist zeitgeist. Keaton Bassett lays a thick vocal fabric, multidimensional in a nuclear sunlight — and the light’s brighter. In all ways, music hardened from what might be generations of reflection rings with undisturbed nascency. This sooty pantomime — not time after time, but this time — plays in front and inside us. Slick packaging, Zappa rendition, GRIP. - Weird Canada


Discography

Walls (2011) Energetic Action Recordings
Out Soon!: Becoming (June 1, 2013)
Coming: Winter/Spring (Autumn, 2013)
Coming: Religious Experience (Autumn, 2013)

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Bio

Energetic Action is a free-punk experimental music and performance group based in Edmonton, Alberta. On June 1st 2013 we will be hosting the release of our second full-length and first LP entitled "Becoming". This date will kick-start a summer of performing and touring in support of the record, including a date alongside Damo Suzuki of Can, and Alberta’s North Country Fair. Previously, we have played Wyrd Fest, and have been asked to play at Montreal’s Suoni Per Il Popolo as well as a Weird Canada showcase for NXNW. Sled Island would be our Calgary debut.

Our song structures contain improvisational elements that ensure unpredictable and engaging performances of energy and intensity. For this, and for our debut album, "Walls", the band has gained attention from media sources including CJSR, CKUA, CKXU, Weird Canada, and Beatroute Magazine. We have performed in support of bands such as Nu Sensae, Peace, Needles//Pins, Teledrome, Brazillian Money, Field & Stream, and Cygnets; also, frequently functioning as a headlining act in our hometown of Edmonton. We have been mentioned on numerous occasions by leading Edmonton venue owner and promoter, Craig Martell of the Wunderbar, as a personal and fan favourite.

Two additional releases are currently in production: "Religious Experience" and "Winter/Spring" are projected to be out by Spring. The songs on these EPs will show two divergent aesthetics contrasting against previous works.