”Forward, Russia!

Give Me a Wall (Mute)

Short on personality but high on concept, Give Me a Wall plays like a musical companion piece to The Communist Manifesto. These Leeds-based noise-conjurers wrap their songs' brittle melodies in appropriately dense postpunk effects, albeit with a far more academic bent than their deranged peers in the now-defunct Test Icicles. Unfortunately Forward, Russia!'s intellectual prerogative occasionally turns absurd: Substituting numbers for proper song titles and then refusing to match those numbers to their running order crosses the line from arty to annoying. Pretensions like these make Give Me a Wall simultaneously the most ambitious and impenetrable offering in its class.

 
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