I'd say 3.5 stars, but I assume these guys work better live. I'm having a hard time understanding this album. It's really quite zany! Given that the songs are all over the place, and the main instruments are guitar, drum, and bass-this stuff must be progressive rock. However, there are no vocals, no central motif spanning the album, no extra long songs, and the music never feels at all epic. There are certainly some electronic tendencies, with funny little electronic loops and highly processed guitar and bass. A track overview may assist us best here.
1 "October" is an ambient intro-type track, not terrible entrancing. Glitchy cymbal work with floating guitar chords and spooky sound effects.
2 "In the Blood" is a great example of their over-all vibe. Acidic monster bass line, funk drumming, and guitar work that toggles from chill jazz to wild ringing leads. Find a sample somewhere. Come to think of it these guys sort of remind me of Fila Brazillia, when they grab the same instruments.
3 "O Soundtrack My Heart" is a bit too progressive for me... reminds me of the outlandish Fifth Element soundtrack
4 "Fool in Rain" is a real gem, very mellow and chilled
5 "Sing, you Sinners" is another great song. Sounds "indie" to me, whatever that means. Has a classic indie-folk chorus vocalizing in the background. Reminds me of Anathallo or Efterklang.
6 "Sweet Memory" is track pulls of the whole progressive things really well. It builds up, and has a second movement towards the end of the track that sounds like n5MD's answer to Explosions in the Sky--definitely "IDM post-rock."
7 "Love Like I" is the fourth winner in a row, they build up from soft, glitchy IDM-style percussion to come back to their classic progressive sound.
8 "Didn't I Furious" Woah! Too progressive now!
9 "Epsilon" starts out with a percolating electronic layer that persists all the way to the classic progressive ending.
10 "Nothing Hurts Machine" starts off with their classic vibe and ends pretty heavy! Sort of a continuous line from the previous track--good job.
11 "My Heart Like Marching Band" is an ambient out-tro, equally forgettable. An organ holds one wavering chord while spooky sounds filter by.
These guys are obviously bursting with ideas and can really jam, but at times they are either too progressive, or they progress too fast! In my opinion, the best track on this discs are the ones with a little more focus, namely, 4-7. (And, for Pivot, focused does NOT equal boring!)