PVT, originally named Pivot, have always had the potential to be a truly groundbreaking act for one reason: their distinct lack of definition. They are a band that seems to be stuck between their post-rock sensibilities and minimalist electro brainstorms, alienating their potential audience and confusing their prospective for groundbreaking musical exploration. If they were to focus on one aspect of their sound, the results would be seminal. Church With No Magic, though, appears more a collection of ideas with nothing taking precedence for longer than a track before succumbing to an almighty blurring of genre and style.
Church With No Magic never really picks up the pace, nor does it ignite a carefully placed fuse that sizzles throughout to a grandiose crescendo. It merely seems to coast along at uncomfortable pace, creating ideas as quickly as it dispels them.
The majority of the tracks sound like off-cuts from Animal Collective’s Merriweather Post Pavilion, as if the band has merely adopted the lesser ideas of a more streamlined group and hammered them together in an overtly messy fashion. There are, however, some truly inspired moments: the gradual saturation of “Community,” the effective use of ’80s style synth on “Crimson Swan.” But these are mere glimmering fragments hidden beneath heaps of underdeveloped dross, diamonds in an insurmountable rough.
There is no argument that PVT as a band could obliterate the mold of the post-rock genre with their brand of idea-saturated synth music if they would only stick to a concept for longer than the time it takes to develop a new one.