When Autolux’s first album arrived, it showed plenty of potential but didn’t convince over the full course of the record. They’ve certainly kept us waiting for the next step as ‘Transit Transit’ arrives a full six years after ‘Future Perfect’.
It may make the trio sound a little pretentious but Autolux definitely operate at the arty end of shoegaze and post-rock. Here is a band who are just as comfortable with songs like the bluesy, scuzzy rock anthem ‘Census’, as they are with subtle electronica experiments (‘Highchair’) or even an elegant ballad (‘Spots’). Furthermore, ‘Headless Sky’ builds from an uncompromising heavy riff in to a moment of distorted beauty.
It’s hard to believe they could make their vocals sound more insouciant and fey as on ‘Supertoys’ but the pay off on the chorus is tremendous like a long-lost My Bloody Valentine moment; the words “It’s all right. You’re OK” never sounded so vital. Praise too for ‘The Bouncing Wall’; a typically unusual and original track which shows Autolux are a band for the present and the future.
Another point to note is that the LA trio understand the need for space on the record and pivotal to that idea is percussionist/vocalist who is the band’s secret weapon. Where she seemed under-used on ‘Future Perfect’ she is now a dominant force, with her drumming crisp and her voice pure and defiant.
‘Transit Transit’ matches substance with the group’s undoubted style at just about every moment of the record. After hearing it from end to end, it sounds like I’ve been witness to a great event and I would certainly settle for another album as excellent as this in 2016.
Desert Hearts, My Bloody Valentine