Original members of the coldwave movement that fused guitars with industrial music, Chicago’s ACUMEN NATION have logged hundreds of shows, 6 albums and a dozen US tours over the years.
As well as running their own imprint and producing music for videogames, television and other bands, ACUMEN NATION continuously evolves, adding the sounds of drum n bass, breakbeat, and hardcore into the mix over the years, resulting in a harsh amalgam of metal and electronics.
Tragically, original member and co-producer Jamie Duffy passed away in the summer of 2012, leaving Acumen Nation fairly down for the count. A performance at 2012’s Cold Waves concert, a memorial show for Jamie and his family, featuring all past and present members of the band was the last missive from Acumen Nation.
Live they were a 4-piece metal crushfest with backing samples and loops who have cut their teeth on the road and locally with such bands as Ministry, Sevendust, Rammstein, KMFDM, Local H, Soil, Front Line Assembly, Mushroomhead, Skinlab, Lords of Acid, 16 Volt and Sister Machine Gun.
They first released "Transmissions from Eville" in 1994. Founder Jason Novak along with brother Ethan Novak and Greg Lopez put the record out themselves on the infamous Robot Records moniker. During shows for this period, the band added guitarist/engineer Jamie Duffy.
Although the glory days of the Industrial rock scene in Chicago had faded by this point, through constant touring and sheer hard work on a number of different projects, ACUMEN NATION established themselves as favorites in the US underground scene. The Iron Lung Corp. was a band comprised of Acumen and The Clay People from Albany, NY. Their first record, '96s "Big Shiny Spears" featured covers of Nitzer Ebb's seminal dance hits 'Join in the Chant' and 'Murderous.'
In 1997, the band were forced to change their name due to a legal dispute with a Bluegrass band also called Acumen. The band split their project into two halves - the drum and bass influenced DJ? Acucrack, and the more traditional rock format of Acumen Nation. After touring for their third album “More Human Heart” (Conscience) Greg Lopez left the band and was replaced by Eliot Engelman, and Ethan Novak left to pursue his own band, later to be replaced by Dan Brill.
Eventually Novak founded Cracknation Records and the band released “The 5ifth Column” in 2002, “Lord of the Cynics” in 2003 and their industrial metal opus “Anticore” in 2005. Tours with Frontline Assembly, Bile and KMFDM ensued. In 2007, Ethan Novak returned to play live bass during the "PsychoTransHumanoid" tours with Cyanotic, promoting the simultaneous release of Acumen Nation's “Psycho the Rapist” and DJ? Acucrack's “Humanoids from the Deep”.
“Deftones on crystal meth...8 out of 10” -ALTERNATIVE PRESS
“Pissed-off anthems for a pissed-off generation” -OUTBURN
* Transmissions from Eville (Demo) (as Acumen; 1994; Robot Records)
* Transmissions from Eville (as Acumen; 1994; Fifth Colvmn Records)
* Territory=Universe (as Acumen; 1996; Fifth Colvmn)
* Unkind (EP) (1997; Conscience Records)
* More Human Heart (1997; Conscience)
* If You Were (EP) (1998; Conscience)
* Transmissions from Eville (Remastered) (1998; Conscience)
* Territory=Universe (Remastered) (1998; Conscience)
* Strike 4 (EP) (2000; Cracknation)
* Live Farewell 2001 (2001; Cracknation)
* The 5ifth Column (2002; Invisible Records)
* Coming Down: The Bastard Remix Album (2002; Invisible)
* Lord of the Cynics (2003; Cracknation)
* Artifacts: 1990-1993 Volume 1 (2004)
* What the F**k?: 10 Years of Armed Audio Warfare (2005; Cracknation/WTII Records)
* Anticore (2006; Cracknation/Crash Music Inc.)
* Psycho the Rapist (2007; Cracknation)
* Artifacts II: 1989-1994 (2008; Cracknation)