The Method Actors were influential players in the 1980’s Athens, Georgia music scene, along with The B52’s, Pylon, Love Tractor and REM. Vic Varney (guitars and vocals) and David Gamble (drums and vocals) made an interesting noise for two guys with an ear for indie angst ridden post punk. This collection of The Method Actors work, released on Acute Records, is musically entertaining but more importantly it’s a fitting and deserved historical calling card.
This Is Still It opens with Do The Method, the band’s first single from 1980 and at the time, NME’s single of the week and is a fitting opener. The brilliant Bleeding, a mix between PIL and Television also appears sounding as fresh as ever it did on their debut LP Little Figures.
For two guys, the music they created in such a cool scene is startling. There are influences from the Sex Pistols to the Dead Kennedys, Captain Beefheart and Gang of Four throughout. When you consider what you’re listening to is 30 years old it sounds as if it could be the next big thing featuring on 2010’s NME tour. Tracks like Distortion, No Condition, She and E-y-e still sound as fresh as ever.
Sadly, the overriding feeling you’re left with is why a band with so much invention and energy, who were such a seminal influence on so many groups didn’t become as hugely successful as some of their contemporaries. Sometimes the stars just aren’t aligned.
Review by Charlie Brown