Action Figure 8

If you're among those who've endured your share of would-be funk and ska bands, you might be inclined to roll your eyes upon first hearing Action Figure 8. The act's chorusy guitars and moderately withdrawn vocals recall the omnipresent, mid-to-late-'90s sound made famous by Sublime and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Listen closer, though, and you'll notice that the Action Figures have broken through the alt-rock milieu with arrangements that are refreshingly sparser and less flashy. While the players are clearly quite capable, they resist the urge to show off for the sake of wowing listeners with their technical prowess. And when the group does launch into a funky number, it doesn't come off as the work of some second-rate jam band. Instead, Action Figure 8 (due at 3 Kings Tavern on Thursday, January 18) gives off a no-wave jazz vibe favored by outfits such as the Contortions.

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