On their third full-length, the incredibly prolific (over two dozen singles and EPs) and intentionally obtuse (you’ll need a private investigator to get much more than their given names: Adam and Ian) English duo provide a horror film soundtrack backing to Glaswegian poet, Gerry Mitchell’s scream-of-consciousness observations. Like the bleak industrial landscapes that populated David Lynch’s visionary apocalypse, Eraserhead, or the schizophrenic paranoia in Roman Polanski’s The Tenant, Mitchell’s gloom ‘n’ doom utterances paint a vast wasteland of despair – imagine Mick Farren trapped in a Kafka novel (before going any further, dig out Gringo Madness and relisten to “The Hippie Death Cult” and “Memphis Psychosis” to set the mood).
Kraftwerkian electronic laser beams dart to and fro throughout the three part title track, and there’s an overall pallid hue to the proceedings, as if Joy Division were invited to provide the soundtrack to your next nightmare. While the terror is occasionally abated (“The Pure Sun” resides inside quite a pleasant pop tune and the floating, Middle Eastern vibe of “The Wrong Idol” is completely hypnotic), Mitchell’s imagery is not exactly cherubic, as evidenced by this typical verse (from “The Unwritten Book”): “There’s a leak in the future and it’s seeping black.” Elsewhere, “Robot Dialogue” slices through the brain with razor-sharp alacrity – someone contact Trent Reznor and get this on the next Nine Inch Nails album
So, while spoken word electronica may not be the next sudden craze, I suggest hiding the razorblades, turning out the lights, and listening with headphones for maximum enjoyment of this paranoid trip through the knife edge of urban decay. 8/10 -- Jeff Penczak (12 February, 2009)