Tweaker

2 A.M. Wakeup Call

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The fact that Chris Vrenna was a founding member of Nine Inch Nails might lead you to expect 60 minutes of despairing heavyosity. The fact that he now records under the name tweaker might lead you to expect 60 minutes of blippy, bloopy electronica buttressed by rave-friendly club beats. Instead, what you get on Vrenna's sophomore effort are plain old songs -- though, granted, they are alternately characterized by despairing heavyosity ("Ruby," which features vocalist Will Oldham) and blippy, bloopy electronica ("Remorseless"). Vrenna doesn't sing himself; instead, he brings in such illustrious vocalists as David Sylvian, Jennifer Charles (whose "Crude Sunlight" is one of the album's highlight tracks), and the Cure's Robert Smith (whose "Truth Is" is pretty good, but isn't one of the album's highlight tracks). Perhaps most interesting of all is a pleasantly twisted electronic remake of Tones on Tail's "Movement of Fear" that comes across as sort of a cross between Cocteau Twins and Ministry. Guitarist Clint Walsh contributes significant amounts of musical content here, and he brings a welcome element of organic crunch to Vrenna's sound. Highly recommended.

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