The Swedish band Violent Work of Art has existed since 1994 and [Automated Species] is their fourth official release.
My first impression of this CD was that the band is heavily inspired by…Fine Young Cannibals, judging by their snare drum sound. To this day, I cannot honestly say that I have listened to the first song on the album yet. All I hear is that snare, and I can’t shake off the mental image of Roland Gift while the song is playing.
Luckily the snare does not sound like that on the rest of the album. The drums, however, keep being the band’s weakest spot. They are simply overdone and over programmed. VWOA does not sport a drum player, so all drums on the album are electronically programmed. And while computerized drums sometimes help enhancing the “industrial” feel, they are just too much on large parts of the album, and they don’t really follow the rest of the music.
The rest of the music is actually rather well performed. Sadomachine’s vocals are mostly aggressive and Mia’s Synths are present in balanced amounts to tie the whole thing together.
Ironically, while the guitar riffs are extremely basic, predictable and full of clichés, they are exactly what make the album worthwhile in the end. It is somehow nice that there is something that you can rely on not being outrageous on an album like this.