This is a review of "Cognitive Dissidents" recorded by Action Directe. The review was written by Richard Garnett in 2001.
You can just see these two guys banging out this music wearing black berets with shoe polish on their noses sat in a nuclear bunker that is actually the basement of their house in Hyde Park, Leeds. Saying to each other - "Yeah I f**king hate Americans"..."Yeah me too - and I hate people who go to work"..."Yeah me too - and I hate Russians"..."No mate they're our brothers in the fight against oppression and suffering"..."Yeah I hate borthers"..."What?"..."Do you want anything from the shop?"..."Just a can of coke and Kinder Egg, Cheers".
I was pleased to get this CD through the post and even more pleased when it didn't self destruct. I had until now thought that this breed of political punk techno had died out with the Tories but here I am being proved wrong. Reading AD's Communique #15 (I know - it just gets better doesn't it?) I find out that AD are actually Leeds' Premier Industrial Art Terrorists, a title you can only imagine there was a lot of competition for. Surely you'd drop the Leeds bit for credibility.
This 12 song album is in musical terms, ok. Industrial as a general genre gets away with a lot because if you say it sounds like bad techno the retort is always "well that's because it's industrial". If you say it sounds like crap punk/metal and a drum machine the retort is always "well that's because it's industrial." What amazes me is that according to the press release accompanying this CD I am in the minority and PANIC say this is their favourite band!! There are some minor highlights on this album, Kicking Love has more life than most and Kinetic adds some metal beef but in general it is hard to find positive things to say about this 12 song dirge.
Action Directe lack the humour and punch that has made bands in their frame a success in the past. There are no killer one lines just endless ranting on subjects that most people forgot existed or don't care about in the first place. There will be a market for this in the grey haired rockers and old Sisters of Mercy fans who smoke rollies and think they're cool because they remember certain clubs where they used to play this sort of stuff....oh yes and in the Czech Republic.
Well I'm sure my house will now be bombed and I'll be called a Nazi pig dog but in terms of musical merit which is what I must judge this on it just doesn't light my fuse.