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Album Review

It's impressive how long Acumen Nation have been able to keep their blend of industrial breakbeats and hardcore aggression going, while neither watering down their style into something more commercially acceptable nor experimenting so far afield from their roots that they risk losing their original fanbase. Anticore is a double-edged sword, however, since an equally valid although less kind description of Acumen Nation's ninth full-length album is that the group have found themselves in a musical rut. Songtitles like "Branch Davidian Style" and the Soundgarden-baiting "Black Son Hole" are about a decade out of date (only the anti-war-profiteering "Halliburton Rape Trial" explicitly acknowledges current political atrocities), and more importantly, the mix of the Jason and Ethan Novak's grunt-and-howl vocals, hyperspeed hardcore guitar riffs, and thudding techno beats throughout sounds like it could have been recorded at any point in Acumen Nation's career. There's nothing on Anticore that will turn off longtime fans of Acumen Nation, but it's difficult to imagine them getting particularly excited about it, either.


Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Brothers Jason Novak and Ethan Novak started Acumen Nation while they were students at DePaul University in 1988. Between them they had strong talent on vocals, guitar, bass, and drums, and a desire to express their unique musical talent through techno-like, guitar-driven rock. Joining them was Gregory Lope (bass, drums, and backing vocals). Unable to invent a name that reflected their style and didn't sound stupid, they chose the name "Acumen" from a thesaurus: it means understanding. About the...
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Top Albums and Songs by Acumen Nation

Anticore, Acumen Nation
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