Artist: The Nein

Date Released: May 17, 2005

Label: Sonic Unyon

Produced By: Dave Flattum


  1. Faint Sounds
  2. Foreign Friendster
  3. Courtesy Bows to New Wave
  4. The Vibe
  5. Conjugated Reverb
  6. Heatseekr
  7. Crawl Grow Red Slow
  8. Jim Morrison in Desert
  9. Wrath of Circuits
  10. Bleeding Elvis


The Nein's debut offers what pretty much every other Wire-aping "art-punk" debut offers with inferior artwork and a more homely feel thanks to that Chapel Hill, NC-quality production. Try as they may, The Nein just can't be that unfriendly and cold. We knew this from their EP last year, but now with "sound manipulator" Dave Flattum on board, they have the added benefit of being able to incorporate random noises and sounds that might have an effect on distracting you from the lack of strength in a given song. Look, I'm not going to knock these guys: They're trying hard and songs like Foreign Friendster or The Vibe are really intriguing, songs that would have The Futureheads looking themselves in the mirror to ask how they can sound more like that. It's just that the whole concept of the "wrath of circuits" (taken from circuit-bending, a technique that randomly connects different circuits together on a keyboard or electronic toy which manipulates the original sound until a new one is created) is a little too ill-timed given the lack of emotional gravitas because of the critical mass it's reached with the media. Still, the basslines slink along as Finn Cohen sings of technophobia and the guitars, crisp but demixed, carry on regardless. It all sounds a little mechanical, but that's not for a lack of enthusiasm; these guys are still a solid spin. - Patrick Masterson

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