It takes a lot to keep a band together, especially for 17 years. The Action! has not only kept the same core of five in place the entire time, they’re still seeking new ways to play, record and release music.
On Saturday, Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m., the band will issue their first vinyl record, the seven-inch EP Monumental Instrumentals, during a release party at Upstairs at The Dinosaur, 246 W. Willow St.
The four-track all-instrumental record is the product of a partnership with local label L.R.S. Records, which has worked with bands including Bridge Under Fire, Shore Acres Drive, Bleak, The Nudes and more. Mike Gibson, lead singer and guitarist of The Action!, knew L.R.S. founder Mark Turley and got in touch.
“I noticed he was doing something that I share a passion about,” Gibson says. “I contacted him to help with the label, not with my band, but just because I wanted to see him succeed. They were really small, but started getting off the ground. Then we started talking about a record for The Action! and I had the idea to put it out on vinyl.”
Gibson notes he had to convince his other band members — Chris Nolan, Craig Chamberlain, Adam Carkey and Dan King — to make that vinyl leap of faith.
“I’ve always been a fan of vinyl and listened to my parents’ collection,” Gibson says. “People think it’s out of date. It’s not the main way people get music, but it’s been making a comeback the past few years. For me, it’s exciting. There’s something about holding a physical piece of music in your hand. Music isn’t a tangible art form. It’s in your ear, in your head. To hold the source of that art form is important to me.”
The Action! recorded the four tracks earlier this year at Hobin Studios and went to L.R.S. to help with pressing and production of the album. Although Gibson noticed a trend in bands associated with L.R.S., he was pleasantly surprised to learn that label co-founders Turley and Nick Oliver shared open minds about their genre of music.
“We weren’t sure they’d be interested in our music; it’s poppy with horns,” Gibson says. “But they were adamant about being the type of label that puts out music of all genres, not just punk or hard rock. They’ll be just as eager to put out an album by a great jazz band or hip-hop or reggae band.”
The Action! blends traces of jazz, rock, pop and punk in their music. “A lot of people see or hear a horn section and think, ‘Oh, they’re a ska band,’” Gibson says. “We don’t want to run away from that, but we’re certainly more than that. If you see us live, we play everything from ‘Shake, Rattle and Roll’ to Lady Gaga’s ‘Poker Face’ and our original music spans those genres as well. We don’t limit ourselves to one genre or want to be pigeonholed.”
Fittingly, the vinyl platters match the band’s colorful mix of genres. The records will be decorated with mixes of yellow, purple, pink and red. Some will have a marble look while others will have streaks of colors spattered through the grooves. “Every record is different,” Gibson promises.
Each album also comes with a download code of the four tracks plus two Action! favorites, “Amy” and “I’m Gonna Beat Up Your Boyfriend.” Regarding the latter tune, Gibson says with a chuckle, “You always get a good reaction with a song title like that.”
And for those curious about the instrumentals, at least one is well known among fans: “Butterman Rubdown,” from the group’s 2008 Syracuse Area Music Award (Sammy)-winning album Exploding Radio.
“I always laugh about that,” Gibson says. “The category that year was ‘Metal/Alternative’ and we won. So I say we won Best Metal Album of 2008 and then we went and played some poppy horn music.”
The Action! release party on Saturday, Nov. 14, 7:30 p.m., at Upstairs at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 246 W. Willow St., will also feature opening acts Operation Hennessey and Matthew Blake V and the Blues Dragons. Admission is $10 and includes the Monumental Instrumentals EP. Visit theactionband.com.