Action Figure Party

Action Figure Party

Action Figure Party

Blue Thumb/Universal

I’ll often pick up a record just because I like the band’s name (or album title, or cover art), just to give something new a spin and see what it’s all about. More often than not, it’ll turn out that the band shot their creative wad on that one creative element, and I’ll end up passing on the record and moving into greener pastures, but occasionally, I find some real winners this way. Case in point, the self-titled debut of Action Figure Party. AFP is an alias for multi-instrumentalist Greg Kurstin, who invites a bunch of friends into the studio for a musical party, jamming on an eclectic, post-modern combination of funk, jazz, and modern dance music. And not just any friends, but the likes of Sean Lennon, Flea, and Cibo Matto’s Miho Hatori, among others. The result is a fun mix of eclectic, mostly instrumental tunes that are sure to appeal to fans of Beck, The Propellerheads, Steely Dan, or Esquivel — strange company, I realize, but it all fits. The title track (one of the few with vocals) sounds like what you’d get if Folk Implosion ever got funky, “Everybody Ready” sounds like a more jazzy and organic version of something off Moby’s Play (think “Natural Blues” or “Honey,” specifically), “Clock Radio” is what Steely Dan could sound like if they got the sticks out of their asses, and “Gamera” is pure post-modern lounge. Unusual, distinctive, fun, and darn near brilliant. Consider this your engraved invitation to the Action Figure Party. RSVP by picking up a copy of this record, ’cause this is one Party you don’t wanna miss!

Blue Thumb/Universal, 10 Universal City Plaza, 4th Floor, Universal City, CA 91608; http://www.bluethumb.com

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