» Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]


 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]


 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Future Perfect
DMZ Records

Rating: 5/10 ?

October 1, 2004

Confession: I liked Failure way more than I should have back in the day. Hell, I still like Failure way more than I should, especially since beginning to buy albums that are older than I am. I'm not saying that I'm one of those folks who ranks Fantastic Planet up there with Nevermind, Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness, and the Blue Album - I've listened to enough King Crimson and Talk Talk to know how to distinguish a piece of rock art from a meticulously planned set of pop songs with faux-artsy segues and unusual cohesion. I'm not saying that at all; what I am saying, though, is that, in spite of my knowledge of how hackneyed and predictable Failure's attempts at gussying up five-years-too-late post-grunge were, I'm still a sucker for "Stuck on You" and "Pillowhead" and, well, pretty much every other song they've ever written.

I bring all of this up because A) Autolux's rather milquetoast music doesn't really offer any other talking points, B) Autolux's head honcho, Greg Edwards, was one half of Failure's studio lineup, albeit the less well-known and prolific half, and C) I face a similar (though ultimately, less intense) challenge with this album.

It seems that Edwards is picking up exactly where Failure left off with this new project. Autolux plays the same breed of sorta-edgy-but-not-really car commercial rock and pepper it with the same type of angsty lyrical vagaries and castrated guitar "freakouts," and they add a new twist as well - repetition, repetition, repetition.

The band's press folks make valiant efforts to paint their lazy looping melodies as evidence of some sort of Kraut rock influence (check the drummer's Kraftwerk shirt in all of the band photos), but it's a fourth generation influence at best, and it doesn't hide the fact that these songs meander about for far too long without offering any more catharsis than a predictable crashing refrain or two. If you married this album to other Failure vet Ken Andrews' disastrous Year of the Rabbit disc, you would literally have the makings of a fourth Failure LP - and, like that band's efforts, Future Perfect is too pseudo-shoegaze for a large mainstream audience and too almost-but-not-quite to capture anyone else's attention.

Even if the hooks are there and the tones ring out all bright- and pretty-like and the overall atmosphere is kinda comfy, Autolux are about as spiritually substantial as a trip to Hardee's, and possibly too humdrum for even MTV2 to touch.

Reviewed by Phillip Buchan
A one-time music director at WUOG in Athens, Phillip is into college radio, literature, writing, buying records, going to shows, talking to friends, learning -- pretty much the same stuff that all of us priveledged, (pseudo?)intellectual Americans are into.

See other reviews by Phillip Buchan



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