This is relevant, living, music lying between humanity and construction – the organic and the artificial.
Electric and Cold Romance are two of the more menacing and cold synth-pop tracks of recent years, both managing to demand Kid A comparisons. The ebbing and flowing between lush and dirty synthesiser tones, and precise and muddled percussive beats, are movements alone to PVT and really show off the utterly modern and relevant sounds the band are capable of. The title track shows the band can still whip out their experimental chops and static-drenched vocal loops when they want to show off – ironically showing the least 'human' side of themselves on the song.
Depeche Mode's darker and more experimental material is an easy touchstone on tracks like Love & Defeat, but again, the song is more present and alive than anything Depeche have touched in the past two decades. The record's poetic lyrics, channelling the lovelorn, the selfish and self-loathed, provide reason to revisit too.
Though it does falter (on the lazy Vertigo and disappointing closer Ziggurat), this is easily PVT's finest record to date, with the band dropping the pretence of being an 'experimental group' and finding their feet as modern songwriters of the now. This is relevant, living, music lying between humanity and construction – the organic and the artificial.
This week's new sets include tunes from locals Little May (our Album Of The Week), Art Vs Science, Dan Kelly and Boy & Bear, plus releases from Tom Jones, The Decembrists and Mayday Parade.