CD Review

The Collisions – “Talk is the New Action”

By Marcus Pan

Talk is the New ActionA debut CD from a garage-rock band, Talk is the New Action does everything it can to be fresh, new, yet simple and straight rock. Coming from the mind of The Collisions, with Bo Barringer (who according to the press release is a "sometime stripper," so he's a lot better looking than me I guess), "Dave of the Universe" on bass (also much cooler than me, obviously, because I'm only Pan of Legends) and Johnny Finger on drums (him I might be a little cooler than, but I don't know for sure). They slap together boorish rock 'n roll and claim to be comparable to Jerry Lee Lewis.

Very garage-ish, even to the point of being slightly pedantic sometimes. Live by Fire, Die by Fire, for example, has lyrics that border on childish and the musicianship is pretty bleak in the interesting department as well, including the blues-rock based guitar riffs. Following the boorish Live by Fire comes Gasoline, which takes on a more eccentric alternative shroud with high-pitched guitar strumming the kind of which you'd hear on, say, Primus or Ex Models(1). It doesn't change much...just kind of drones along for four minutes or so. Not particularly noteworthy.

The CollisionsThe One That You Love is an example of depression at it's most angsty – complete with spurned teenager style lyrics the likes of which you'd find on a billion AOL Hometown, Yahoo or Geocities websites. The fifth track, Trying to be Nice, isn't bad, but does fall victim to the problem The Collisions tend to have on a lot of their tracks – and one of the reasons many Ramones songs were under three minutes – there's not that much meat in it to need more than four minutes of my time.

Having some fun with Amateur, Collisions pick up the ska-esque on track six. This one isn't half bad, and even might get you pogoing about a bit. A favorite of Talk is the New Action, stuck dead center of the cruft. Me & the Devil Blues meanwhile gets dark and twisted, adds in some interesting harmonica and tries to be cooler than my cousin. Not bad for a cover.

In short, The Collisions don't do it for me. I'm not sure if it's that they try so hard to be amateurish that it's worn on their sleeves, or if they really are that amateurish and fade away into nothingness when you listen to the other five million garage rock bands out there. The only difference here is Barringer, Dave and Finger aren't teenagers anymore, which only makes it sillier. If one or two decent tracks is worth picking up an album for you, and you have that much extra cash to spend, then so be it.

(1) The Ex Models release of Other Mathematics was reviewed in Legends #134.
Contact Information:
The Collisions
Post: 3 Cherry St., Taunton, MA, 02780, USA
Phone: (617) 275-7320
Fax: (617) 501-5246