A.C.T – Rebirth
Chirping birds and mellow strings, voices and a faint foreshadowing of the 4th song ‘Meet The Past’ lead us into a new chapter of one of the most underrated prog adventures of the latest decade or two. A.C.T are back after five years, and listening to the new EP “Rebirth” is like meeting an old friend.
During the 20 years since their debut release (“Today’s Report”, 1999), the five Swedes around Ola Andersson have created their own signature sound, and the opener “Ruler of the World” has that happy mood the band creates so effortlessly – and which can be deceiving, if you remember their previous record, “Circus Pandemonium”, with its dark circus story. It’s a typical A.C.T song, as always with super sticky melodies and the distinctive voice of Herman Saming. Watch the crazy homemade video here:
A.C.T – Ruler Of The World (click here if the video does not play)
So, what is a typical A.C.T song? A blend of catchy pop melodies, supreme technical skill of everyone involved and a travel from Ska rhythms through Dream Theater epicness in the tastefully inserted instrumental parts down to Queen’s quirkiness, with some country fair atmosphere sprinkled on top for good measure.
We get all that again in ‘Running Out Of Luck’, before things get slightly different in ‘Digital Affair’. The love between a human and a robot or computer takes a critical and ironical look at the current obsession with Alexa, Siri and other voice assistants – in a kind of a duet between the robot and Herman Saming.
After “Meet The Past”, another pure A.C.T song with a tasty piano drive, the Swedes dive into classical rock territory with ‘A Broken Trust’. A killer riff, howling organ sounds and one more of those catchy choruses open one of the highlights of this far too short record. The return of the computer voice, a sleek guitar solo, surprising breaks – this 5 minute song is overflowing with ideas and playfulness – what a delight!
A little piano tune that promises a new song and suddenly stops breaks any hope of one more song and ends the 5 song EP way too soon – after 22 minutes. “Rebirth” marks a glorious return of one of the most original bands Sweden has to offer – five killers, no fillers. If there is anything to criticize at all, it would be that it is too short – and we can only hope it won’t take another five years until we hear more of A.C.T – a band that deserves to be noticed out there way more than it is now!
“Rebirth” is available now on CD and digitally from 24th of April.