EarthQuaker Records, based in Akron, Ohio, launched the epic prog-punk from Actual Form’s debut album Hyperzone about an unsuspecting, open-eared world on limited edition vinyl.
As the walls between musical genres continue to fall or at least be ignored by many, the ears of today’s music lovers are more open than they have ever been. Fortunately, the Akron-based instrumental trio of guitarist Joshua Novak, drummer Ian Cummins and bassist James Haas has more than enough music and power to satisfy even the most voracious listener of complex hard-rock music.
“We have an edgy sound and we have a million influences. But we channel everything through our sound rather than the other way around,” says Novak.
But this array of influences, including rock, punk, noise, jazz, prog, metal, and more, doesn’t mean the trio are just talented genre imitators. Their unique sense of rhythm and melody are the roots of every song Actual Form composes, whether it’s 160 seconds of punk-injected noise or a dynamic 12-minute multi-part epic.
“We have a lot of metal influences. But we’ve always been hesitant to be a metal band. We’ve always considered ourselves a progressive punk band because we have that taste going for us,” Novak adds. “We don’t sound like a modern metal band, and I think if we tried, people would be like, ‘wow, this band is bad.'”
However, Actual Form refuses to shy away from their collective power, propulsion and knack for intricate melodies that remain memorable. Hyperzone contains five modest songs, but there is plenty for music lovers to absorb. Cummins is a skillful, rhythmically varied and always thrilling drummer who also beats the unholy hell out of his kit. Onstage, bassist Haas is the closest band to a frontman, managing to navigate the trio’s constantly throbbing and shifting metronomic pulse and convoluted lines while energetically striking all the best rock dude poses. Novak has the technical acumen of a shredder mixed with the windmill muscle of a straight-forward rocker and the barely contained energy of a rabid punk.
actual form Hyperzone is not just music for musicians. It is aimed at any listener who likes to be surprised and taken on a sonic journey through the vast landscape of instrumental music.
To coincide with the vinyl release of just 500 copies, the band will also be releasing their first-ever video for the album’s single “Lurker on the Threshold.” Additionally, as part of the album release celebration, the trio will also perform a record release show at downtown Akron’s premier live music venue, Musica, on Friday, May 6.
Follow Actual Form on Bandcamp, Facebook and Spotify.