For years now, WTII Records and I have had this bizarre relationship in which I get albums out of the blue with no advance warning whatsoever. In the initial stage of this relationship I was into goth electro and pretty much nothing else, and the super-rare mailing from them was a welcome bolt from the blue, like once every 14 months, one-and-only-one example of their latest decent, if cookie-cutter, stuff (aside from Acumen Nation, who are just freaking awesome, but I think those guys are completely self-run at this point). So here we are, following that same random fight-with-your-psycho-ex-girlfriend schedule, the stars aligned in such a way that WTII Records chief Bart Pfanenstiel (who used to work for legendary indie WaxTrax) has, without comment, sent me something, namely this English boy/girl duo’s new LP. I am phlegmatically pleased, yes, that the pair has a strong, clingy affinity for Assemblage 23 — foggy vampire-goth music, busy synth lines over which the boy sings in an unremarkable baritone that wants to be VNV Nation — and here it is, printed for posterity: this album is a cross between VNV-style futurepop and whatever you think Assemblage 23 is. I should add that the difference between this and the very unique, very great VNV is that VNV makes me want to yell at people to buy their albums, while this makes me want to play Wolfenstein, or make an elaborate dinner, or maybe just stare at my comic book collection, you know, anything that doesn’t require pretending to hype this album up for the short, insignificant burst of attention it will get before it promptly sinks into the cultural tar pit and disappears forever.
B- —Eric W. Saeger