The Diodes

Action/Reaction

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The first Canadian punk band to land a major-label deal, the Diodes played a clean, pop-based sound even as new wave was a few years off from becoming a real movement. Action/Reaction was the band's third album, their first for Orient/RCA, and the last full-length effort before the band's eventual collapse. Like previous releases, the band worked from an inner bassline hook, with a leaning toward Paul Robinson's crisp, swaying drawl and a Stooges-inspired voodoo din, but the stress on repeated choruses, sluggish beats, and a gaping hole where the smallest electronic element -- such as the warbling keyboard in the single "Strange Time" -- could've sealed everything tight ultimately proved self-defeating. While music scholars were given a lot of material to connect the dots with, Action/Reaction suggested a band of rare sonic insights and a career glorified by a rose-tinted reputation.

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