Review Summary: With this promising debut, Autolux provides a highly accessible, stand out listen that does not lose its charm or burn out quickly.4 of 4 thought this review was well written
I suppose that I could accredit Trent Reznor for my own personal discovery of this band. Being a Nine Inch Nails
fan, I had read some time ago that Autolux was one of Reznor's favorite bands at the time and noticed that they were on the ticket for portions of the With Teeth tour. Unfortunately, when the tour had come through my city they were not listed as any of the openers (I instead endured Peaches
). No matter though, I figured I would look into it at a later time and see what it was all about. So, eventually I looked it up on the iTunes, read some of the user comments and felt further compelled enough to go ahead with it.
Looking back, I'm not necessarily sure exactly what I was expecting, but I'm guessing I was under this impression that it would be something similar to or even in the vicinity of the Nine Inch Nails
sound. This would explain my wavering certainty on my decision as the first few opening tracks left me furrowing my brow to the allusions to indie-pop sound. Admittedly, I begrudgingly allowed myself the full listen of Future Perfect
and set it aside (so to speak) for the time being.
Fortunately for me I did in fact give this album more than the one listen and, more and more, I found myself not only capable of enjoying this but needing to listen to it often. Perhaps time permitted all preconceived notions, unintentional and subconscious as they may have been, to fade away and allow me to really appreciate the album. The entire experience is an enchanting one, uplifting without being overly up-beat, and adequately engaging for the listener without being overbearing.
One of the things I enjoy most about this band and particularly this album is the vocal work. While most of the album's singing is left to bassist Goreshter, drummer Azar oftentimes complements and in some instances contributes on her own. All of which is very easy to listen to, as for me each listen to the record is reminiscent of an edgier Elliott Smith
sound and even, to a lesser extent, The Beatles
. Their vocal harmonies wade effortlessly through the pools of dreamy guitar textures that swirl tentatively at times and soar into the sky in others.
Though one may be convinced otherwise upon the first listen, this is a very unique release to its genre. I previously stated my opinion accordingly, but most would be comfortable with placing this amongst other indie or even indie-pop bands as nearly if not every track is quite catchy. The opener Turnstile Blues
will challenge any listener to not chant "shake shake shake shake shake shake the clouds
" long after they've finished listening to the entire album. On the other end, closer Capital Kind of Strain
will haunt in the same manner, which is likely why I've had a hard time getting this off of my current playlist.
What sets this apart is that there are no gimmicks, no sacrificing one song for the sake of accessibility. While the entire album itself is very, very accessible it is consistently so, even when drifting away to slight tangents. The acoustic Great Days for the Passenger Element
, for example, brings the Elliott Smith
likeness to its full effect, and Asleep at the Trigger
is a track that provides a brief detour while highlighting Azar as the vocal presence. In whatever direction Future Perfect
heads it eventually finds its way back, be it through short transitional song introductions or the straightforward interjection of guitar riffs to kick things off.
All things considered, Autolux really shines on this record and doesn't slip up along the way. They manage to avoid falling into lulls despite some more reserved songs and are constantly engaging the listener with something new, maintaining the catchiness and accessibility without becoming redundant. On a personal note, I am particularly impressed that they have managed to not only win my approval (and Reznor's) but also have me looking forward to the sophomore release in a genre that I am not able to enjoy often. Pick this up, give it a few listens, and it is very likely that you'll not only be humming some of the melodies but keeping it in your iPod or stereo by the end of the week.
Great Days for the Passenger Element
Here Comes Everybody