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Church With No Magic (Bonus Track Version)

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Album Review

Church with No Magic reveals that in the two years between this album and O Soundtrack My Heart, PVT went through some significant changes. The most obvious is the alteration of the band’s name (thanks to a legal scuffle with a U.S. band also called Pivot), but the addition of Richard Pike's vocals to PVT’s mix of post-rock, electronica, and prog is almost as immediate. For the most part, it’s a change for the better, adding focus to the band’s overflowing sounds and ideas. Pike’s singing balances “Light Up Bright Fires”’ tension between icy electronics and explosive live drums, his harmonies suggesting flames shooting high into the sky; he snarls and whispers on the bleak, incantatory title track, which suggests an unholy union of Suicide and The The; and his baritone grounds the decaying industrial beauty of “Crimson Swan” in post-punk brooding. Despite all the changes, PVT remain committed to their experimental roots. Even on “Window,” arguably Church with No Magic's most accessible track, the band can’t help but throw in subtle tempo shifts that subvert the song’s brisk pace. Elsewhere, “Community” and “Waves and Radiation”'s rippling analog synths show that they love Jean Michel Jarre and Vangelis as much as they did on their earlier albums. PVT’s prog leanings come to the fore on “The Quick Mile,” a showcase for drummer Laurenz Pike's formidable skills and a reminder that despite all their muscle, this band is first and foremost cerebral. At times they can be too aloof, as on the surprisingly distant “Circle of Friends,” though they use this remoteness well on “Timeless”' sci-fi romance. Despite their changes, PVT remain as hard to pin down as ever, and Church with No Magic is admirable, if not exactly embraceable.

Customer Reviews

Get your music boxed

What kinda crack is Music Boxer smokin? Should send them drugs back to the ghetto, homey. This is one of the greatest albums of 2010. Are you out of your f-ing mind? Go box yourself in the face. Maybe it'll heal whatever the hell's wrong with your ear canals.

(Art + Noise) raised to the power of (tight rhythms) = goodness squared

If you're brain is still on Suburban Dream ROM 1.0 and you're happy to avoid surprises, intense sound walls, lush momentary harmonies against dis-harmonic experiments in melody then this might not be for you. Then again, anyone familiar with Warp's catalog of artists will know to expect the unexpected. Say no more.

Church with No Magic picks up nicely from the last two albums and sets an even keeled experimental playing field on which Rich, Laurence and Dave layer a cohesive palette of jazz tinted electronics over super tight drums, noise and effects. The result: a sonic chemistry set where each mad professor blends the their individual mixtures in the lab before our very ears as new morphing shapes in sound are distilled. Sometimes the experiments get wild - popping and effusing, and other times smooth elixirs emerge - but always controlled with satisfying outcomes from the Abstract-Method-Results-Conclusion arrangement process. Guitar as Synth. Drums as Lead. Noise as Rhythm. Voice as Drums. Rock as Jazz. Jazz as Rock. Rock as Electronica. Electronica as diffused sampling. Nice! (scratches chin, knowingly).

PVT here might not mean Polymorphic Ventricular Tachycardia, but don't doubt that their sound will tweak and sync your cardiovascular Q waves just the same. More please.

Live, they deliver as in the studio. Worthy


Formed: 1999 in Sydney, Australia

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Dark experimental instrumental post-rock band Pivot were formed in 1999 by brothers Laurenz Pike (drums, percussion) and Richard Pike (guitar, production), but soon ballooned to a five-piece band with the additions of Adrian Klumpes (keyboard), Neal Sutherland (bass), and Dave Bowman (turntables). It may be de rigueur to compare instrumental music to film soundtracks, but partly inspired by Vangelis, that was exactly the sound Pivot were aiming for. They shut themselves away for two years of regular...
Full Bio

Top Albums and Songs by PVT

Church With No Magic (Bonus Track Version), PVT
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