Their name's sideways nod to The Slits' Viv Albertine is just one of a welter of new-wave influences coursing through Alberteen's Metal Book.
Blending stern, verbose vocals with angular, industrial poptones, it's an album replete with 1980s fringe flavours: Bauhaus, the Banshees, Gang of Four, Magazine. The latter's shadow looms particularly large over singer Phil Shaw's delivery, which has the wordy deliberation of Howard Devoto, and the ambitious lexicon to boot: "I was tearing through some fucker's lucubrations/The sibyl was laughing in her cage," he croons amid the spacious grandiosity of "Our Dead Language". The band's arrangements involve darkly cinematic soundscapes in which the metallic twang of the guitar carries the sharp smack of indie attitude.
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