Nein has its moments. A discordant tech-pop band that wavers between the percussive experimentation of Gang of Four, the Shins’ harmonies, the Hot Hot Heat’s new wave sass, and Blood Brothers’ disjointed rage, they travel quite a gamut of influences; but they do so with an appreciable consistency in their own style
They are going for a techie wave opera vibe; but some of their pinnacle moments get lost in a cycle of sonic violence and tend to forget about structure.
The album gets off on a good foot, with proggy rock and just the right amount of keys on the first few tracks. Track three, “Courtesy Bows to New Wave” hits a Faint-like chorus with some acceptable wankage. The album grows more aggressive from here and begins to have moments of inappropriate or over-done random samplings. It’s as if the music is at times, trying to distract you from the music. Still appreciable, but you wonder for a second here and there if you really want to be listening to this.
Throughout Wrath of Circuits, The Nein are solid and creative. There are some fantastic percussive bits and there are some beautifully orchestrated, chilling build-ups that pair vocals with minimal guitar as well as this can be done (on, for instance, Conjugated Verb or Jim Morrison in Desert.)
Unfortunate as it sounds, I recommend staying away from the title track. Everything else on Wrath of Circuits is pretty do-able.