Album Review
Action Reaction - 3 is the Magic Number Album Cover

Action Reaction - 3 is the Magic Number

Reviewed by
Action Reaction3 Is The Magic Number
Release Date: August 22, 2006
Record Label: Hope Division/Equal Vision

In this reviewer’s humble opinion, Jason Gleason could be easily considered indie’s best vocalist. With his tickling the ears of hardcore and alternative fans (as lead vocalists for Affinity and Further Seems Forever’s How To Start A Fire) Gleason sits at the head of this new project to head in a completely different direction. Rounded off by his wife Bella and ex-Element 101 member Sal Ciaravino, the trio do not bring so much of a fresh sound but an amalgamation of sounds from genres, regions and generations that ultimately results in epic poetry wrapped in ambient rock and roll reverbs.

If you were lucky enough to notice the band before they were picked up on Equal Vision and got one of their two demo EPs pressed, you will recognize six of the tracks peppered in between five brand new songs. Despite new or old songs, the album dips into a variety of genres—90s pop rock, electronica, classic rock and modern indie styles.

“Sinner’s Algebra” starts the album off. Most likely Action Reaction’s most radio-friendly track and appropriate to begin the album with a memorable chorus—in and throughout the entire song melody flows with catchiness as an average alt-rock intro. Progression takes places with the following song. “Can You Hear The Sun?”. It’s another alt-rock track with two levels of environment—psychedelic and southern classic rock. Halfway though is this reviewer’s favorite track “Come See My Grave.” As it’s been seen on the other EPs, it continues its resilience on 3 Is The Magic Number. I’m won over by the tempo range, playful ending and poetical thesis (“I would like to recognize my friends by which way they walk and not how far they run away”).? “With My Voice” begins softly with Gleason’s low-end range but picks up quickly and fiishes as their most fun and electric pop song yet. Listeners end up with a conservative mix of songs that will not bore but also don’t monopolize on catchy hooks and pop melodies.

Basically Action Reaction is a teenager stuck at the kids table at a Thanksgiving dinner. They’re too indie for the alternative scene and too alternative for the indie scene. Awkwardly set between those two spectrums still allows the three to make an album that most musicians can't make on their fifth major label release. Jason’s vocals will keep old fans close while new fans will be intrigued to dive into this new sound deeper.

Want more?: “21 Gun Salute”, “Contagious”, “Spark The Sun”
This review is a user submitted review from Gabe Gross. You can see all of Gabe Gross's submitted reviews here.
Displaying posts 1 - 15 of 22
01:45 AM on 09/25/06
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TheBaroness's Avatar
"Basically Action Reaction is a teenager stuck at the kids table at a Thanksgiving dinner. They’re too indie for the alternative scene and too alternative for the indie scene."

True. Good review.
03:59 AM on 09/25/06
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albatrossxivy's Avatar
great review

bring back fsf!
05:18 AM on 09/25/06
graphic designer
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joshua.'s Avatar
so what's this bella deal about? i thought he married the lead singer from element 101 and that her name was chrissy verhagen (sp?). who's this bella character?
05:24 AM on 09/25/06
Silver Bullets
All you need is love.
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Silver Bullets's Avatar
I've always loved Jason Gleason's voice, so I'm really interested in hearing this. thanks for the review
05:28 AM on 09/25/06
Registered User
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No Avatar Selected
Bella is just her nickname that Jason gave her, so everybody calls her that, and its the same person that sang in Element 101, my friend Dan is the guitarist now and went to see them in Maryland with Copeland
07:18 AM on 09/25/06
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spikestoyou's Avatar
80% is too low. I mean, honestly, you call the guy the best vocalist in indie music and only give vocals an 8.5? Weird.
07:33 AM on 09/25/06
needs you so much closer
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dekdog11's Avatar
good review man
i enjoy this cd... i mean its no fsf but it is solid.
07:38 AM on 09/25/06
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awkward_stu's Avatar
I have really been enjoying this album.
08:11 AM on 09/25/06
poop butts
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weworemasks's Avatar
yo gabe this cd is sooooo weak whatcha think about that?!?!?!?!?!
08:30 AM on 09/25/06
too caught up in the beautiful
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jaimej's Avatar
80% is too low. I mean, honestly, you call the guy the best vocalist in indie music and only give vocals an 8.5? Weird.
He's judging the vocals solely on this album, which are a far cry from his previous efforts.

Good review, Gabe!
08:51 AM on 09/25/06
Registered User
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kylestarr's Avatar
Honestly, I couldn't get into this album and I really wanted to. Almost every song on this album sounds the same. There's not a lot of dynamic and every song has the same pop structure. With the influence of How To Start A Fire (one of the best alt rock albums ever), I was really expecting more from Jason.
09:54 AM on 09/25/06
Scott Weber
Live Like a Legend
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Scott Weber's Avatar
I love this band, but this album wasn't even a full-length to me because of all the old songs (which weren't re-recorded). I would have rather just seen another EP instead of alternating old songs with new songs, it didn't seem cohesive, even though the new songs themselves are good.
10:15 AM on 09/25/06
The World Won't Listen.
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GoWaitInTheCar's Avatar
The song "Have A Cocktail" gives me a good feeling, it reminds me of all the people that I've known that have passed away.
11:22 AM on 09/25/06
Drew Beringer
Senior Editor - @drewberinger - Locked Groove
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Drew Beringer's Avatar
I can't get into this album at all, I liked one song, but the rest just drag for me.

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