Edinburgh Cas Rock

...worth diddly-squat when your tunes can't cut the mustard.

‘From here on in it’s a riot’, yelps [a]Action Spectacular[/a]’s scrupulously scrawled, perfectly lit backdrop, and you have to admire their dogged self-belief.

From their immaculately contrived conception, the Sheffield youngsters have been at pains to disassociate themselves from the current say-nothing, do-nothing indie brigade. And, through a series of incendiary, admirably abstract press missives, it’s a ploy that’s worked; earning the fivesome a respectable notoriety. But though an ounce of art-pop braggadocio can be worth its weight in [a]Toploader[/a] albums it is, unfortunately, worth diddly-squat when your tunes can’t cut the mustard. And the Spectacular‘s, largely, don’t.

Although the occasional title (‘Roxy Music’) and a winning penchant for all things bleepy suggest a band champing at the synth-pop bit, [a]Action Spectacular[/a]’s divining rod, on tonight’s evidence, stalled at the evolutionary black spot that was baggy.

So we get ‘Stand Up’, an eager but strangely flatfooted take on Happy Mondays‘ rubber-jowled groove. And we get ‘Music In The Sun’ – a frenzied deconstruction of The Doors‘Peace Frog’ that flaps like Northside in flippers. Both of which are rather cute and all but, clearly, the Spectacular’s exacting vision has failed to stretch as far as their music. A little less detail, then, and a whole lot more attention to the wider picture, and the arrogance may be justified yet.