PVT - New Spirit - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

PVT - New Spirit

by Rob Taylor Rating:6 Release Date:2017-02-17

Aussie Trio, PVT (Previously known as Pivot) return with their first since 2013’s Homosapiens. With some heady subject matter related to the devitalisation of Australian cultural life, reactionary politics, fear mongering and a gutless media, the album has an enervating mood, with a lot of shredded electronics firing off random sorties, but with an upper layer of new romantic vocal subverting the cold, gloomy beat structure.

I found it all a bit oppressive to be honest, although there’s no question PVT are talented composers of twisted pop-techno. The lyrical content is polarising, the lyrics appearing to suggest that anyone who doesn’t share the band’s dystopian view is a fence-sitting racist knob-end. Sure, world politics at the moment is tending towards the loony right, but Australian cultural life at its core is not entirely beset by nationalistic fervour, and overall not driven by a need to oppress the powerless. 

Leaving lyrics to one side, New Spirit is a very sophisticated electronic album but one that eschews warmth in favour of dynamics. The agenda is very much the exposition of the message I’ve already mentioned. The music mostly plods along at mid-tempo, the dampened beat contrasted with sharp keyboard lines and long synth lines occasionally threatening to sound a bit Depeche Mode, but alas the mood is never quite elevated to a happier form. ‘Morning Mist, Rock Island Bend’ is however quite excellent in its build, and is the closest the album comes to a consistently danceable form.

In the end, New Spirit left me a bit cold and disheartened. Maybe the clinical execution is the real issue here. There's an unrelenting earnestness about the album which borders on the preachy. 

 

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