Top 5: Autolux

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Transit Transit
TBD Records
Street: 08.03

Being an Autolux fan takes patience. Their first LP, Future Perfect, was an underground staple after its release in 2004. Four years later they finally revealed the Kid A-esque “Audience No. 2” as a single, which served to satisfy my Autolove for a while. After two additional years of delays and more plays than I can count generated on their Myspace player, Transit Transit saw the light of day. It was as refreshing as eating a nice home cooked meal after demonstrating some serious self-control to avoid a bag of cheddar and sour cream chips that would have ruined my appetite. This album is all about Carla Azar. She is one of a small number of drummers who actually writes drum parts, rather than simply blending into the rhythm section. The sullen, piano-driven “Spots” is the perfect showcase of Azar’s original approach—about a third of the way through the song, an understated drumbeat begins, transforming a great eerie track into a memorable and totally original piece of music. The vocals on this album are well distributed, not just within each song, but between the band members. Azar’s engagingly soft vocals lure the listener in, while bassist Eugene Goreshter and guitarist Greg Edwards take turns lulling us with their signature variable melodies. A few of the tracks on the album are true to some of the straightforward, odd rock-work they did on Future Perfect, especially “Census,” “Supertoys” and “Kissproof.” They tread new ground with most of the tracks, particularly on the charmingly repetitive “Headless Sky,” where they somehow make an unvarying guitar part sound fresh for four minutes. But the opus of the album, “The Science of Imaginary Solutions,” is everything I love about Autolux—atmospheric, quirky and truly beautiful in its artistry. I sincerely adore this band. –Andrew Roy