PVT – Church With No Magic (Warp/Border) CD Review

I’ve quite enjoyed Australian hybrid electronic group Pivot in the past, while never being totally convinced. Perhaps they felt the same: for Church With No Magic, they have changed their moniker.

It’s no surprise to find former Depeche Mode man Alan Moulder involved (in the mix), because that band appears to be the overwhelming influence on a record that sounds geared to take on the road.

There are some nicely grainy-sounding analogue-style synths here, and that’s enough to get my heart racing, but working against that are too many cribs from other artists, from Laurie Anderson through to John Foxx, Animal Collective and Suicide.

At the dawn of the synth-pop era, these sounds were mysterious, but now they’re just commonplace, and so are their techniques. Church With No Magic does have its moments, but too often, it echoes its own name. PVT has constructed an edifice, but there’s little magic here, and after a while, they begin to sound like those almost indistinguishable light industrial bands that plagued the mid-‘80s.

I also have issue with some of the drum programming; on one track in particular, the cymbals become as jarring as an autistic child playing incessantly with a box of cutlery. Pity. GARY STEEL

Sound = 3/5

Music = 3/5

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