Here's the latest in my summer of '04 shoegazer revivalist records.
The newest record from Autumdivers is chock full of heady
guitars and amazingly tight rhythms, hearking back to the days
when Britpop was first making the transition to the shoegaze wall-of-sound.
But fear not, like a large chunk of the new 'gazers, Autumdivers
hail not from Britain, but from New York City. New York City?
How do they possibly do it, you ask? Well, let me explain
After a rather lengthy intro, the record kicks into high gear
with some killer drumming provided by Aaron Bucher, and
then Gregory Paul's jangly guitars chime in. Once Paul
begins singing, I am immediately transported back to the first
time I ever had the chance to hear The Autumns. His voice
is eminently clear and full of emotion. "Turnaround"
is the most shoegazey of these songs, and it stands well on its
own, because you cannot fuck with a song that goes like this:
"You turn around, then you're gonna face yourself/ you turn
around, then you're gonna hear this sound/ you turn around, then
you're gonna fuckin' feel this sound
", which is followed
of course by some very My Bloody Valentine sounding guitar
bits. Think Loveless. The record takes a more dreampop/indie
turn at that point, developing into a collection of songs that
are pseudo-pop gems. Tony Wensel holds down the bottom
end with his simple, effective bass playing while Paul turns to
more Edge inspired guitar riffing on songs like "Disappearing
Act". Way to use that delay pedal man! You're a champ.
Acoustic guitars are not to be forgotten, and form the basis
for songs like the moody and downbeat "Place To Call Your
Own". "I Still Feel" may be the standout hit-maker
on this record, if only they could get it on the radio. With a
distinctly late 90's Britpop infused Strokes-smooth neo-garage
sound, this song elevates my mind and heart to a place that few
songs seem able these days. It makes me feel like I'm floating
on a cloud. Of course, the flash for this band could most certainly
be on the horizon, as a few of their songs were used by NBC during
the 2004 Summer Olympic Games coverage. "Sisyphus" is
a droning, delay heavy track that would be prefect for just about
any activity, as its rhythm propels it steadily on, but the overall
mood is quite relaxing. The band nicely wraps up their eponymous
album in high shoegaze style with a seventeen minute stop and
go noisy masterpiece called "Star Crossed".
It doesn't get a whole lot better than this in the shoegaze/
dreampop/ drugrock/ artrock/ etc. category. Or does it? Stay tuned
for more of the 2004 shoegaze Olympian records. Now
could get this band to tour somewhere other than the bloody coasts
4. I Still Feel
5. Place To Call Your Own
6. Disappearing Act
9. Dopamine Test
10. Get Me Out
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