New Musical Express (NME) - 80 Based on rating 4/5
We’ve seen some of the best minds of our generation destroyed by boredom. Processed beats, regurgitated ideas and tired talent have all claimed their victims when we weren’t looking.Take [a]MIA[/a]. Sure, her neverending paranoia and sheer gobbiness makes her a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma – topped off with a generous helping of puzzle.
One of the more interesting aspects of the “digital music revolution” (maybe you’ve heard of it) has been the consistent brand loyalty to independent record labels expressed by most listeners, all while their major label brethren have been increasingly consigned to meaninglessness. Merge and Sub Pop, for example, remain hallowed indie powerhouses. Even smaller companies like DFA and Jagjaguwar bring attention to new albums solely through the virtue of label reputation.
Band name changes can be a widespread irritant. Often they're forced upon groups for litigious reasons, sometimes they're slight changes that make sense for the newly named, say, Santigold, but not to anyone else. PVT's particular name change, however, seems functional in application. The band's two albums as Pivot, 2005's Make Me Love You and 2008's Warp debut, O Soundtrack My Heart, were slabs of drifting post-rock (the latter with minor electronic touches added because, hey, they're on Warp now) that fell short on energy throughout.
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.
There's always been a nagging feeling with Pivot - now renamed PVT for slightly dull legal reasons - that they're close to being a really good band but fall a little short, due to sitting in an awkard middle ground between cerebral post rock, minimal electro and straight forward hit conjurers. And rather frustratingly, Church With No Magic doesn't make their position in the indie world any more clear. In the two years that have passed since O Soundtrack My Heart, they've pushed Richard Pike to the forefront and got him to sing on the majority of the record.
The reincarnated Australians improve upon past form with this third collection. Ben Patashnik 2010 When Pivot gurgled their way into the UK with their humbly wonderful Warp Records debut O Soundtrack My Heart in 2008 they sounded bizarrely anachronistic, in the best way possible. A trio blissfully happy to remake the now-uncool idiom of IDM – the glitchy, head-breaking strand of electronica favoured by Aphex to µ-Ziq – in their own image, they made dance music that catered as much for the head as for the feet.