Actual Size - "s/t" (band released CD-R, 2002)
From Aural Innovations #21 (October 2002)
Hailing from England, Actual Size had their roots in a college rock band. The influence from those days still shows to some extant, but the band members have gone on to explore more complex arrangements, embellishing their sounds with psychedelic flourishes and eccentric vocals. This 5-song sampler features tracks like Swan Lake, which weaves jazzy textures and Beatlesque string arrangements into an alt-rock pastische that ranges from laidback swagger to raunchy intensity all in one song, and TV Flickers, which its blusey thumping and wild squalls balanced by chiming little keyboard parts with delicate percussion and whispering electronics. Plan B is the oddest, and probably my favourite of the bunch, with its charmingly clunky rhythm and ooo-whee-ooo synths bouncing along to a cheerful melody and banjo breaks! Flippy stuff.
For more information you can visit the Actual Size web site at: http://www.actual-size.co.uk.
Reviewed by Jeff Fitzgerald