The Civil War

  • Record Label: Matador
  • Release Date: Sep 23, 2003

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22
  1. Uncut
    Like 1999's The West, The Civil War negotiates a fragile entente between Americana and electronica, but does so on a bigger, constantly astonishing scale. [Oct 2003, p.122]
  2. Alternative Press
    Equally adept with paradiddles and software plugins, these digital-age surrealists have birthed a musical hybrid all their own. [Nov 2003, p.100]
  3. While The Civil War isn't as exhilaratingly disorienting as A Chance to Cut Is a Chance to Cure, it's another triumph; history may repeat itself, but Matmos never does.
  4. One of the few discs I've encountered that not only attempts to be something more than a simple album, but succeeds.
  5. If you're curious about the group but haven't taken a chance on them yet, this is the perfect album to start.
  6. The finest Matmos record to date.
  7. Outburn
    The superposition of these strange sound sources is at times shocking, obliquely tracing a history of American music. [#23, p.95]
  8. Magnet
    The Civil War uses familiar Matmos techniques to craft unfamiliar electronic music. [#61, p.103]
  9. It is a challenging and humorous album that works like a society brave and wise enough to allow dissent.
  10. Still quietly bombastic and still occasionally in search of an author, the spacey, haunted music bounces from the ethereal to the grounded dirt that our shoes kick away on imagined dance floors.
  11. Immediately more accessible than their last effort.
  12. As a technical achievement and as a piece of pure sound, The Civil War is inarguably Matmos' best record.... [but] there's less of an emotional core here than on previous offerings.
  13. Mojo
    Using jaunty jigs and marches, [Matmos] mishandle flutes, bagpipes, violins and God knows what else to illustrate the mid-1800s battlefield. [Oct 2003, p.111]
  14. This time Matmos crafts a convincing sonic history project that works its digressions into something more probing and consistent.
  15. Musically, it's by far their most rounded and satisfying album to date.
  16. Q Magazine
    Though Matmos are undoubtedly the Willie Wonkas of ear candy, just occasionally The Civil War gets too anal. [Oct 2003, p.109]
  17. A beguiling marriage of the electronic and the organic that, while perhaps short on tunes per se, bristles with engagement.
  18. Blender
    It's not always successful. But the sheer audacity of taking computers to Camelot works splendidly in the pastoral beauty of "Y.T.T.E." [Oct 2003, p.124]
  19. Rolling Stone
    Matmos amble and shuffle toward a new interpretation of history. [11 Dec 2003, p.204]
  20. The Wire
    It's all been very 'civil,' but still no sign of that dang war. [#235, p.63]
  21. There seems to be some sort of attempt at fusion here, a line being drawn between modern times and the Civil War era. Maybe it's supposed to be some sort of political message, a statement on the divided times we live in. But if it is, that's never clear.
  22. Under The Radar
    This sounds like what writers for a comedy skit trying to make fun of avant-garde music would come up with. [#5, p.114]
User Score

No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. mario
    Mar 29, 2005
    I really like it but i think that you have to be really openminded to give to this record the chances the it needs to b understood at last I really like it but i think that you have to be really openminded to give to this record the chances the it needs to b understood at last for me the best is two men carrying his own paranoia to succes with out looking for fame or money or things like that Full Review »