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Pure Reason Revolution – Hammer and Anvil

October 19, 2010 by  

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Pure Reason Revolution – Hammer and Anvil

NAME: Pure Reason Revolution
ALBUM: Hammer and Anvil
DATE: 18October2010

LABEL: Century Media/EMI


FIVE WORD REVIEW: More Equilibrium than Blade Runner


LINE UP: Jon Courtney (vocals, guitars, keyboards, programming), Chloe Alper (vocals, keyboards, bass), Jamie Willcox (guitars, keyboards, vocals), Paul Glover (Drums)


WHAT’S THE STORY?: Westminster founded four piece release third album in preparation for their fall tour of the sunny old EU. Comes in regular and limited edition flavours.

SOUNDS LIKE: Fast, wild and raucous. Distortion pedal set to go. Like driving a mustang with the top down 90mph on the motorway at 2 in the morning. Not a bad way to start your third album.

Influences and inspirations from previous greats abound, particularly the awesome Depeche Mode, but this electro/heavy metal mix up decidedly futuristic; in fact it’s quite easy to imagine tracks like ‘Last Man, Last Round’ featuring in the score for some low budget, science fiction/cyber punk film, specifically the bit involving birds eye views of the dark metropolis, gleaming night skyscrapers and spinning camera tricks.

Except these midnight tones are balanced by a sort of radio friendly, metal-pop style, vocal delivery; it’s a marriage that doesn’t seem to always work, more of a clash than a synthesis. By example, ‘Open Insurrection’ has an excellent menacing start up, which gradually smoothes out before hitting a massive metal orchestral blow-out. It’s great, but then the vocals trigger: blurred and migraine inducing, they are unpleasantly like being stuck in a long car journey in high summer. Yuck. Though it’s uncertain how much of this is due to the male lead’s uncanny tonal resemblance to Brian Molko…

PRR are open to experimentation, if nothing else, and can throw some sick curve balls; ‘Blitzkrieg’ is a sharp electronic dance number with a whiff of Alec Empire on the voice inserts and provides an excellent switch of pace from the raucous rock that precedes it. It could also slot nicely into the obligatory rave scene of aforementioned cyberpunk film, lots of strobe lights and some sort of sexy skinhead woman with a futuristic feather boa.

In a vacuum some of the work on this album is truly great, ‘Armistice’ in particular is one smart piece of composition, where it’s fair to say everything they’ve been trying to achieve comes shining to the fore, but as an aggregate it’s a bit of a mess, with tracks that could have been great sabotaged by a wonky synthesis of disparate styles.

YOU’LL LIKE THIS IF: A sort of Depeche Mode/Placebo/RAWK mash-up is your cup of tea.

LINK: http://www.myspace.com/purereasonrevolution

Submitted By Andrew Gregory



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