Autolux Transit Transit

[TBD; 2010]

Rating: 3.5/5

Styles: dxperimental noise/dream rock
Others: Blonde Redhead, Deerhoof, Fennesz

With six years between their acclaimed debut and the follow-up, one might expect Autolux to either deliver on the promise in the title of their 2004 opus, Future Perfect, or wield a new, fully realized sound. Transit Transit, however, alludes to transition at every turn. Composed of drummer Carla Azar, guitarist Greg Edwards, and bassist/vocalist Eugene Goreshter, the heady trio craft an album that’s not about attaining perfection; it’s about documenting growth, and as such, it encompasses all the things that are part of the awkward transition from wide-eyed apprentice to accomplished veteran.

Transit Transit works like a best-of compilation, assembling the group’s better efforts over the last six years while forgoing the mismatched feeling of such collections, a feat only a group as talented as Autolux could handle. But as is true of any effort to chronicle an artist’s development, there are plenty of defiant borrowings coupled with inspired new directions. From the Sonic Youth-motivated guitar of “Census” to the Can-esque rhythm of “The Bouncing Wall,” Autolux not only subsume their influences, but through them they also discover unique permutations.

The album’s also filled with colorful expanses, places where the melody slows to allow a bridging passage to erupt and transform the rest of the song. On the wistful piano ballad “Spots,” Goreshter seems to offer an explanatory note connecting this album and Autolux’s debut, when he sings, “The last time I know it all was strange/ It made me feel drunk and sad.” With so many layers and emotions, themes and textures, commenting on the music can feel more like describing a well-wrought cabernet than a discussion of verses and choruses.

Still, whether it’s the expert musicianship that informs the drums on “Audience No. 2” or the bold guitar phrases that open “Headless Sky,” the trio simply seems more confident this time out. This is no surprise; since 2004, they’ve been praised by notable fans ranging from Tool’s Maynard James Keenan to uber-producer T. Bone Burnett. They even toured Russia around that time with P.J. Harvey and spent the spring opening for Thom Yorke’s new project, Atoms for Peace. With that kind of activity, it’s no wonder fans were primed for this set. Thankfully, Autolux deliver on their promise.

Links: Autolux - TBD

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