Above, you can see the video for “Light” from Detroit’s Turn To Crime, a trio of post-punks from Detroit, but led by Derek Stanton, who self-released their latest album Actions last Tuesday via his label Mugg & Bopp. The video, directed by light artist B.A. Maile, features go-go dancers in a single room with multiple “scene” changes via light projections cast upon them. The video turns out to be a great representation of Actions as an album.
Stanton has placed a “post-nothing” genre label on his own sound, and that makes sense for multiple reasons. First, no one can blame an artist for refusing genres placed on their music, especially in modern music, where every critic is looking to pigeonhole a musician’s sound. Second, there’s too many influences to call Turn To Crime a post-punk revival band: too much surf to be garage, too much pop to be lo-fi. So post-nothing fits here.
That’s more of a nod to Stanton’s abilities than it is a criticism of negligence. Stanton is not inattentive by any means, and he never disregards his influences. Actions contains just enough pop hooks and eccentric instrumentations that they seldom leave a listener bored, and leads one to believe Stanton never became apathetic while making the seven-track album as well.
Much like the video for “Light” uses its dancers in different “settings,” the album takes its songs’ hooks and lets them live on their own… just so long as they never leave the room.
Title track “Actions” finds Stanton’s voice at its most Bowie-esque, and the wondrous guitar hooks can hold ground against melodic lo-fi garage rock’s poster-children, Kurt Vile and The War on Drugs. The immediately following track, “Prince of Slackers” might be the album’s most addictive, but the fuzzy guitars would more than likely terrorize pop’s simplest fans.
In fact, there’s plenty of terror on Actions. Opening track “This Is What You Wanted” sounds like theme music for a serial killer in an early 80’s suspense film, and “Impatience” features slow and repetitive bass and synth parts, paired with lyrics that make you think it was written while locked in a room with no windows.
Overall, Actions is a worthy listen for any fan of the bevy of “post-something” genres in indie music today. Turn To Crime’s influences are present, but with the means in which Actions is presented, they never fully take over any of the songs on the album.