Autolux – Transit transit
The skinny: Forever delayed…
The review proper: But Jebus damn us all, well worth the wait.
Six years is an eternity in the unforgiving music blogosphere (hate that term) and watching Autolux take so long (although with reason) to release Transit Transit was a very taxing experience.
So, what to expect from the new album? Ideally, people will want something sounding familiar as Future Perfect, but realistically, you can’t (nor should) expect to get a second serving. The band seems to know this, embracing the power of drum machines and minimalism while still doing what they do best. Whatever the hell it is, I’m feeling it.
The usual vocal delivery, in true Autolux style, still is very disembodied, but now is a little dreamier, a little more sparse (‘Highchair’ is almost a lullaby). Gone (mostly) is the fuzziness, but again, I rather have a band doing something different than sticking to a formula.
And, being crude about it, there still is a formula. The sweet, crisp sound is there. The genre-hopping is there. The massive, fantastic drumming of Carla Azar is mostly there (bloody love ‘Census’, ‘Kissproof’ and ‘The bouncing wall’). Greg Edwards is still having fun with his pedalboard, but decided to branch out this time round. Eugene Goresther deservedly keeps doing his job properly. So why the negativity from some reviewers?
It’s not like the band has abandoned all their roots. ‘Supertoys’ goes for some of their old hijinks and works wonders, and the more solemn moments, like the album opener ‘Transit transit’ or ‘Spots’, are just more colours in Autolux’s massive aural palette.
Let’s talk more about ‘Spots’. It’s one of the calmest moments in the album (love the little brushing of the snare by Carla Azar) and it’s pretty dreamy, with a psychedelic vocal delivery.
If anything, it’s a hard sell of an album. Can’t think of any of the songs being a single, because they feed in each other to survive. It works perfectly as a whole album, as the louder moments are perfectly married (heck, they are intertwined) with the very quiet moments.
And the last 4 songs of the album (‘Audience No. 2’, ‘Kissproof’, ‘Headless sky’ and ‘The science of imaginary solutions’) are a very solid tetralogy (!) of songs. They are simply the strongest stuff that Autolux has put on record. They experiment with their own sound, deconstruct themselves and have fun while at it. ‘The science of imaginary solutions’ is the proper way to close an album and the band should take a bow for this one.
In retrospective, it’s best that Autolux took this good chunk of time between albums. Why? ‘Cause then you know if the push behind is the empty air of hype or a proper, well-gained momentum due to music prowess. No worries about being no easy singles in Transit Transit. This is an album to be listened in one go, no skipping required. And with that album closer, the payoff is immense.
About the author: What in Idaho‘s name is Greg Edwards doing to his guitar in ‘Audience No. 2’? And can I have some more?