PVT have this crazy futuristic sound that brings to mind bands of the past. Wait. That makes no sense. Futuristic sound….bands of the past? Well, regardless that’s the case. There’s a sense of future visions, all wrapped in a warm analog blanket. Elements of Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, and Depeche Mode float along in the DNA and chromosomal make up of Homosapien. But there’s also hints of PVTs peers. Take for example the title track. It sounds very much like one of last years best ‘new’ bands, Django Django. Weird, blippy vocals coming in and out as a hi hat-heavy drum beat carries us along the jangly guitar-driven track. Other spots there’s a darkness lurking in-between the square waves of the analog synths. Radiohead makes an appearance in spirit as The King of Limbs cold electro sensuality pops up in ‘Vertigo’. This is a band of 3 that sounds like a band of 10. London by way of Sydney’s PVT love to experiment. But they also want you to swoon.
Richard and Laurence Pike got together with electronic artist Dave Miller to create experimental music under the name Pivot. After losing a couple vowels and 3 full-length albums later they seem to have hit their stride with Homosapien. They have found a balance between experimental and pop. ‘Nightfall’ is a perfect example of that balance. Richard Pike has a longing in his voice and can croon quite wonderfully. As good as his contemporaries, easily. But where the Coldplays and Keanes and Snow Patrols and Alt Js either go way too schmaltzy or get lost in their own artistic ambitions, PVT give just the right amount of artistic ambition and repeat playability. You could hear this song in an Alex Cox movie back in 1984, or a Danny Boyle flick in 2013. Synths add a dark layer to the track, while Pike gives a beautiful pop performance in the vocals. There’s a necessity in his words. A drive in the beat. It propels you forward. Another track, ‘Evolution’, opens like a Tangerine Dream soundtrack, then bursts into this great pop track. Something The Killers wish they could write. It has the feeling of riding on the Tram in 1982, or hitting a club on New Years Eve, 2040. Bear In Heaven travel the same roads as PVT. ‘Electric’ slithers along like a vacuum tube-powered snake. It’s menacing in the best sense. ‘Cold Romance’ sounds like a KOL b-side. Blippy and skittish beat moves along a wavering synth line as ethereal backing vocals float above like a spectre stuck between this world and the next. ‘Love and Defeat’ is an incredible pop track in the vein of the Human League and Thompson Twins that would’ve been a hit in 1985 for sure.
PVT continue the evolution of their sound. They create soundscapes that are dark, sensual, and mysterious. They create a world of purple skies and worm holes to the past and future. They create pop music for people that think they don’t like pop music. Homosapien is an indulgence of the senses.
7 out of 10