The release of 'Workers Leaving the Factory' marks a more honed and professional sounding Actualities. While still doing the majority of the admin work themselves, they have enlisted the help of James Goldsmith handling the production side of things, Grayson Gilmour as James' omnipresent recording assistant and Mike Gibson who mastered the mini album. Hopefully all this combines to make a more polished and professional recording than their first. The band have played many shows since their self titled debut EP was released in 2006. They have got more confident at their respective instruments, so much so that they started tackling new ones like glockenspiel and piano that will make an appearance in upcoming shows.
The Actualities are three years young. The Wellington-based five piece formed at high school with a sound that is complex and difficult to pigeonhole. Their first self-titled EP was released in 2006.
The sound of the Actualities falls roughly in alternative rock territory, but a one word descriptive doesn’t do it justice. Drums, multiple guitars, bass, keys and vocal harmonies form heavy orchestral melodies, broken by strong beats and lyrics worth listening to. The band demure on naming influences, but do agree on a passion for Radiohead, although they differ in other musical tastes. Live, the Actualities are professional and concentrated, taking music seriously but able to laugh at themselves.
The Actualities cite acclaimed solo artist Grayson Gilmour as a mentor and an impetus for the recording of 'Workers Leaving The Factory'. The band has played support for Gilmour and his band So So Modern, as well as Odessa, Connan and the Mockasins, Ghostplane, the Bonnie Scarlets, Ryan McPhun and the Ruby Suns, The Inkling and Alps, and have been included in shows by A Low Hum and Craftwerk. They see the diverse range of bands they have played with as “exciting” and take pride in being “able to mix in with anyone”.
The band describes this album as more constructed than their previous. “It’s mastered a lot more,” says Albert Williams, guitar/keys/lead vocals. “It’s heavier; it’s been recorded with the intention of more of a rock feel, more of a live feel.” “It’s more reasoned, it took a long time,” says Patrick Whatman, percussion. Wafting melody strains drift through spiky rock, with swelling synthesisers and strings.
Listen closely. “It’s important to investigate the concepts behind the album. We’ve left that there for the listener to have more than just the music,” says Williams. “There are secrets about this album that need to be explored.”
The band are planning to tour New Zealand after the release of 'Workers Leaving The Factory'. They also intend to record again with Grayson Gilmour in 2008.
BY ISOBEL CAIRNS
Albert Williams (vocals, guitar, keyboard)
Chris Conaglen (guitar)
Tanya Cooper (guitar)
Troy Cooper (bass, guitar, backing vocals)
Patrick Whatman (drums, backing vocals)
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