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Autolux - Future Perfect

  by Anthony Dhanendran

published: 7 / 7 / 2005

Autolux - Future Perfect
Label: Full Time Hobby
Format: CD


Sparkingly taut debut album from Los Angeles band Autolux who "sound like the Pixies might sound if they were making new music today"

Having made waves at this spring’s All Tomorrow’s Parties, Autolux finally get around to releasing their debut album in the UK. The Los Angeles band, it has to be said, sound a little like the Pixies. Or rather, they sound like the Pixies might sound if they were making new music today. That makes them worth a listen, doesn’t it? The first song, 'Turnstile Blues', is a rock dirge that the Velvet Underground, in their darkest moments, would have been proud of. The drums kick around the place, while singer Eugene Goreshter breathes lyrics over the top, accompanied by squalls of Greg Edwards’s guitar. Second track 'Angry Candy' speeds things up a little, but drummer Carla Azar is still thrashing away in the background. Producer T-Bone Burnett (who put together the soundtrack for the Coen Brothers’ 'O Brother Where Art Thou', among many other things) was clearly comfortable letting the music dictate the production – a lesser mortal might have been tempted to crank up the drum parts and let the noise drown out the melody, but he keeps everything in check. As a result the whole thing has a restrained, taut, feel to the sound, as though it’s about to snap at any point. 'Subzero Fun' mixes discord and plaintive melody with pretty effect, set, once again, against the backdrop of those drums and some (slightly less distorted) guitar. 'Sugarless' is sweeter, sounding like a slowed-down Jesus and Mary Chain before it gets going, and sounding like the crystal-filtered version of that band once it does hit the top gear. The taut feel continues throughout the album – the music is so tightly stretched over the three parts of which it is made that it feels almost dangerous listening to it, as though the stereo is about to rev up and burn off down the freeway at any moment. Towards the end of the album, though, those pounding drums take a back seat and the tension eases. 'Asleep at the Trigger' is positively soporific – almost a gut reaction to the speed freaking going on earlier. The closing tracks, 'Plantlife' and C'apital Kind of Strain', feel like the band has finally struck the balance between the mad energy and the need to slow down. Both are more laid-back, melody-heavy affairs, and are a good way to wind down the stretched-spring that has built up while listening to the rest of the album. This is not a classic album, but it is a superb, sparkling debut, cut from the rock of the 1990s and held over until the time was right, when nobody was expecting a noise-rock revival. Autolux’s time, if not now, is very soon.

Track Listing:-
1 Turnstile Blues
2 Angry Candy
3 Subzero Fun
4 Sugarless
5 Blanket
6 Great Days For The Passenger Element
7 Robots In The Garden
8 Here Comes Everybody
9 Asleep At The Trigger
10 Plantlife
11 Capital Kind Of Strain

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