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the method actors were among the earliest bands to emerge from the athens punk / new wave scene that produced the b-52s, rem, pylon, and many others. acute's new cd 'this is still it' - which rem's peter buck describes in his liner notes as 'a kind of secret history of the athens scene' - revisits the early years of the legendary duo. includes liner notes from rem's peter buck and an extensive interview with vic varney. with just two members, vic varney on guitar and vocals, david gamble on drums and vocals, the method actors were an experiment in just how much you could do with so little. using repetitious grooves and guitars and thunderous drums, they underpinned surprisingly pop, hook-laden song writing with an angsty racket of barely controlled chaos. while it was the energy of the typical punk influences like the pistols which got them kick-started, unexpected influences like james blood ulmer and capt beefheart pushed their sounds to odd, aggressive structures, creating a sort of southern skronk by two guys who could actually sing. following in the dance-based approach of fellow athenian b-52s, they soon incorporated the atmospherics of groups like pil and joy division, the minimalism of the young marble giants and the punk-funk of gang of 4. still, they never lost the ability to focus on the music's key elements: incessant, stripped down, trance-inducing grooves and yelping vocal harmonies that vacillate between haunting melodies and excited spasms.
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