The Method Actors This Is Still It

The Method Actors This Is Still It
It's well known that Athens, GA in the late '70s and early '80s was a breeding ground for experimental indie rock and, of course, birthed some of the biggest acts in the first wave of alternative/college music. But lurking underneath any influential scene that has its own R.E.M. and B-52s success stories is a crop of creators who were just as integral. Enter the Method Actors, a jerky, punchy two-piece whose new, comprehensive (though it only spans two years) compilation Peter Buck describes in the liner notes as "a kind of secret history of the Athens scene." Featuring Vic Varney on guitar and David Gamble on drums (and both on vocals), the Method Actors could actually play and sing; if they'd ventured into the unlikely pop realm that David Byrne worked into his weirdo masterpieces, which they aren't far from in "Commotion," they may have found more than just glowing critical praise. They managed to hit all the right punk/avant-garde/funk elements in their new wave party while keeping the instrumentation to a minimum, though tracks like "Dancing Underneath" and its manic guitars and relentless rhythm show that what the Method Actors did with structures and genres was anything but simple. (Acute)