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VNV Nation, Automatic
Anachron Records, Oct. 25

10/20/11
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



With the snooze-inducing Of Faith Power and Glory having depleted all the artistic capital they’d earned with Matter + Form two albums prior, VNV Nation really needed to score some runs this year. So here we are, racked and rebooted, and look, Orwellian cover art again. This did not bode well,. Mind you, I want this band to succeed every bit as much as you do, if you’re a fan. You know as well as I do that they deserve LCD Soundsystem money, not simply because there’s a rich, unique slant to their techno sound but because they’re wonderful, inspiring dudes who actually believe humanity will triumph, even in the face of [place your top 50 societal pet peeves here]. For the uninitiated, the sound is part Peter Gabriel, part house/trance, part… what, neo-gospel? This time, the luck of it is that the “what” part is running on a good three cylinders, meaning there’s a self-help track on here that tops anything they’ve ever done, that song being “Resolution.” Automatic is nowhere near as phoned-in as OFP&G, but it feels like this duo needs… something, more time off, maybe a horrific romantic breakup suffered by one of the guys. Actually, both. If Ronan and Mark’s wives are reading this, please cheat on them with the mailman, we implore you. B —Eric W. Saeger






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