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Onlinerock Records

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… if we could get this band to tour somewhere other than the bloody coasts…

-Embo Blake

Track Listing:

1. intro
2. Turnaround
3. Amend
4. I Still Feel
5. Place To Call Your Own
6. Disappearing Act
7. Walkaway
8. Inasmuch
9. Dopamine Test
10. Get Me Out
11. Sisyphus
12. Last
Star Crossed

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