Jaded as one gets diving into Lake Me with a truckload of CDs every week, discoveries like Control Room Secondee justify the mountains of stale fodder, their pale palpitations restoring life like an indie-rock fountain of youth.
Audio Ovni are 2005's Midlake, an ensemble with (initially) little hype behind them and a great debut album that shivers, sparkles, and shimmers like God's Shoeshine. Tapping a well of inspiration first reamed by frequently-imitated bands such as Radiohead and Grandaddy, Control Room funnels through a much darker, oblique tunnel of sound that bottlenecks into a precipice of total misery, the downtrodden emotes of the lead singer clinging to the crag of a treacherous cliff with little but desperation to save him from falling to certain death.
Manhandling the listener's moodspan, Audio Ovni's biggest asset is their tendency to milk the teat of tension for all it's worth, leaning on atmospheric floods of electricity, subtle chimes of manipulated, unidentifiable instruments, static, and other forms of foreplay to fill the void until the absolute breaking point. To say the vocals inflect like a nasally-challenged Thom Yorke would be an understatement, but the whirlwind of activity behind him flushes out any notion of creative copy-catting, even despite the fact that the closest thing this reviewer has heard to Control Room Secondee is, indeed, the elusive, brilliant Kid A (imagine the tinkertoy flux of A's title track branded by red-hot emotion and formatted into a longer jaunt ... [fake Cuban accent] tha's guud, right?).
Bleak and bountiful, unearthing Audio Ovni's virgin recording from a veritable sea of so-so is akin to finding a fully-wrapped, grape-flavored Laffy Taffy in the folds of a car seat in the middle of a traffic jam: Your mind, body and – yes – soul will thank you for digging deeper.
1. From the Faucet Fell an Apostatic Drop
4. The Truth About Biomass
5. How We Got Here
6. Design a Tease
8. Traffic Light Cöordination
9. 8-Bit Throat
10. Daylight Structure Fire on the Prairie
11. Independence at 250
14. Out of Stock Forever
15. Couture Reprise No. 2