Thursday, January 02, 2014

14 Reviews for 2014: #1, Autolux - Transit Transit (2010)

After last year's "Twelve Blogs of Christmas," it's pretty clear that my only self-motivation to write prolifically is gimmicks.  So here we go:  14 Reviews to start 2014.  (I picked "14," obviously, because it's the uniform number of both Otto Graham and Larry Doby.  Or because I am cheap, easy, and lazy.  No one knows.)

First victim:  Autolux.  After Failure's breakup, the two main creative forces in the band took productivity paths parallel to Hüsker Dü after their split.  Ken Andrews became Bob Mould, putting out a steady stream of excellent music (at least until 2007), which included stints with his bands On and Year of the Rabbit, as well as solo work and tons of producing.  

Autolux's Greg Edwards, on the other hand, followed the Grant Hart model:  a glacially slow musical output (three albums in two bands over 15+ years), all the while dealing with the perception that his drug addiction broke up his previous band.  And he's not the main creative force here, either; all songs are collectively written by the three-piece group.

Now onto the task at hand:  six years after Autolux's impressive 2004 debut (Future Perfect), 2010's Transit Transit isn't bad; it just isn't good.  

Autolux - "Supertoys."  Probably the only song you need to listen to on this album.

Except for "Supertoys," (and MAYBE "Census," but the jury is still out) there is absolutely no emotional resonance or connection here.  At all.  The production is pristine, but it ultimately turns the album into a super-smooth, polished turd (with glass-like consistency, no less).  Every ounce of life has been drained from this technically proficient, emotion-free disappointment.

This is like a corpse someone microwaved.  Sure it's warm, but it's not going anywhere.

CD Placement Rating:  Sell-back 1.  Avoids the Pile of Death by the slimmest of margins.

- Snilch

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