The Method Actors

This Is Still It

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This Is Still It distills the abundant 1980-1981 output of Athens, GA’s Method Actors, during this phase guitarist/vocalist Vic Varney (a permanent member) and drummer/vocalist David Gamble (who was out by the end of 1982). Sonic contemporaries of fellow Athenians Pylon, who were managed for a stretch by Varney, and to a slightly lesser extent the B-52's, the band was nonetheless unique for having two members and creating such a vigorous, romping, oddball attack between the instruments and voices that basslines were not missed. Several of the songs here are top-tier extrovert post-punk, neatly organized threshings as invigorating as any material from Mission of Burma or their farther-flung counterparts. Varney incorporated bass into the later material, and though those songs are neither as alien nor quite as driving as the earlier output, it is very easy to imagine them -- like "Bleeding" and "Commotion" -- slotted between prime B-52's and A Certain Ratio without a dip in contagious rhythmic punch. The liner notes contain an excerpt from a lengthy interview with Varney, as well as a short essay from R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, who claims to have seen the band 100 times.

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