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Album Review

Assisted at points by Elaine McLeod on female vocals and Gus Ferguson on cello in place of the departed Bennet, the Humberstones take a notable step forward from rock aesthetics to a much more elaborate, involved kind of music — the opening track alone, "Timbre," with a muffled but relentless pulse and a slightly distorted sample of Bulgarian choir singing, makes for an intriguing start. The use of electronic drums throughout gives Twins a very stiff feel at times, but otherwise the musical combinations on display are supple, almost fluid. The title track's mix of male and female singers, vocal samples, heavily produced guitar, and a variety of keyboard melodies and shadings, along with the percussion is much more its own beast than earlier tracks, a general mix that continues more or less throughout the record with odd little diversions, as with the almost jazzy "Joaquin." A number of the songs veer towards outright industrial at times: "Intertwine" slams into gear with a pounding beat sample, while "Workcorps" almost has an all-too-appropriate title in this regard — but notably, ITN are not so much interested in death disco as sheer mood and power, more Test Dept. and Einstürzende Neubaten than Ministry. Some of the tracks exhibit an increasing reach in artistic inspiration — "Profile 63" revolves around a series of John F. Kennedy speech snippets, while the sweetly haunting "Judgment of Paris" refers to Greek mythology. With the Temper EP added as a bonus on the ITN corporation re-release, including the excellent "Breach Birth" (graced with some of the strangest, abstract vocals ever laid down on tape) and "Arm Me Audacity" demonstrating the abilities of ITN at their aggressive, very consciously arty best, Twins remains an underrated, fascinating album.


Formed: 1981 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

Formed in Sheffield, England by brothers Klive and Nigel Humberstone in 1981, In the Nursery explored a strange fusion of industrialized military rhythms and classical and film soundtrack music. Devoted more to the former in their early years, the band debuted in 1983 with the mini-album When Cherished Dreams Come True, also contributing to several compilations over the next two years. After the 1985 Temper EP, the group's initial lineup had evaporated, leaving only the Humberstone brothers to record...
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Twins, In the Nursery
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