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Acumen Nation
Formerly known as Acumen, this Chicago industrial quartet was forced to change their name due to a trademark lawsuit. Lead singer Jason Novak and guitarist Jamie Duffy have gone on to much success under the moniker "DJ? Acucrack." (The band began as a solo project of Novak's in 1988, while he was attending DePaul University.) Their last album More Human Heart and maxi-single "Unkind" (not to speak of -- literally -- dozens of remixes) were released on Conscience Records in 1997.

Acumen Nation blended loud, politically-oriented hard rock with techno-industrial influences to create one of the most powerful sounds in Chicago music. (Something like Rage Against the Machine by way of Ministry.) The loud, technology- driven sound of the band was not a substitute for artistry or musical talent, though. While they used computer generated DATs to provide a sonic wash over the songs, the driving drums, bass, guitars and vocals are as powerful and professional as any band out there. Their final recording More Human Heart has a more accessible almost pop-oriented feel. Though their trademark guitar-driven rock songs are still present, they've added a few slower tempo songs, "The Funny Thing Is" and even (surprise) an acoustic track, "Cancerine."

Entrancing and entertaining, the energy of this band is incredible; the music they create is a potent driving force that captivates audiences and leaves them exhausted. They often incorporate self-produced short film clips as a back drop. These films act in cooperation with the music to provide an all-encompassing audio-visual sensory experience that is almost overwhelming.

The band was comprised of the brothers Novak - Ethan (drums, bass, backing vocals) and Jason Novak (guitars, lead vocals, programming), Gregory Lopez (bass, drums, backing vocals), and Jamie Duffy (guitars, backing vocals).

Their most recent releases include "What the F**k?: 10 Years of Armed Audio Warfare" (2005, Cracknation Records), "Anticore" (2006, Cracknation), and "Psycho the Rapist" (2007, Cracknation). The band has a new line up, along with old faces: Jason Novak, Jamie Duffy, Eliot Engelman, and Dan Brill.

For more information, visit their website:

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