¡Action Pact!

  • !Action Pact!
  • Mercury Theatre — On the Air! (UK Fall Out) 1983 
  • Survival of the Fattest (UK Fall Out) 1984 

George Cheex — !Action Pact!’s female singer — sounds perennially outraged, terrified and amazed, all at once. She doesn’t quite shriek, but comes damn close to it, which makes the four Londoners rather tiresome, especially as their music manages nowhere near the same level of aggression, holding rather to relatively tame medium-speed punk. Lyrics on Mercury Theatre are pointedly political, addressing royalty (“Blue Blood”), yellow journalism (“Currant Bun”), racism, etc. Aided by guest saxophone, “London Bouncers” resembles X-Ray Spex a bit; otherwise, these best intentions are barely listenable.

Survival of the Fattest (no one said this lot weren’t clever) introduces a new member, Thistles (taking over bass from Dr. Phibes), joining George, Grimly Fiendish and Wild Planet in the lineup. Lyrics are slightly refined and subtler; likewise, the music offers more variety and better playing, but George’s artless singing — despite flashes of adequacy — remains the group’s undoing.

[Ira Robbins]