United States of Mind

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Covenant is a Swedish electro-industrial dance-pop trio consisting of Eskil Simonsson, Joakim Montelius and Clas Nachmanson. Their sound has been compared to that of a poppier Front 242, or maybe Prodigy. I'd say they're more like a cross between the chilly hookiness of Kraftwerk and the portentous self-importance of Laibach. The problem is that their hooks aren't as hooky as Kraftwerk's, and their self-importance isn't as justified as Laibach's. Simonsson's deep, chesty voice and dour delivery lend a certain weight to the songs, but the lyrics aren't often capable of supporting that weight; if you're going to deliver lines like "Dead stars/Still burn/Dead still/Stars burn," you'd better either be singing a very worthwhile tune or you'd better be well buried in the mix beneath a butt-stomping beat. That said, there are some fine examples of old-school jackhammer industrialism here ("Afterhours" is a good one), as well as some very interesting textures ("Helicopter"). This album isn't bad, but it sometimes comes across as just a bit silly. Which does not seem to be what they were going for.

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