(3 out of 5)
In its decade of existence, Autolux has released an EP, an astounding debut album (2004’s FUTURE PERFECT) and, now, finally, a second album. While the four-year span between the band’s formation and debut was somewhat understandable — they had to get their sound and chemistry right, and drummer/vocalist Carla Azar had to deal with the aftermath of a nearly career-ending injury and the surgery that repaired it – the six years (SIX!) between FUTURE PERFECT and TRANSIT TRANSIT is very nearly inexcusable. Not simply because fans of Autolux have had to wait a while to finally hear some new music from the band, but because so much of that new music is incredibly lackluster. While a certain amount of somnambulant swoon is to be expected – if not desired – from Autolux, on TRANSIT TRANSIT, the band seems to have allowed their superlative songwriting skills be completely subsumed by the honey-thick arrangements that were, on FUTURE PERFECT, an accent, rather than a definition. Tracks like “Highchair” and “The Bouncing Wall” are aimless and poorly-defined psychedelia, miraculously transforming the heavy-lidded post-shoegaze rock of the band’s earlier work into amorphous and boring blobs of sound. Even on a cut like “Kissproof,” where it’s clear that the band is attempting to get worked into some sort of distortion-driven froth, the energy and focus dissipates all too quickly. Yet, while TRANSIT TRANSIT does dish up a pile of decidedly dull moments, there are still flashes of brilliance – the woozy groove of “Census,” the innovative churn of “Headless Sky,” the clanging squall of “Audience No. 2” – that prove the band hasn’t completely lost its way.
First appeared Aug. 3, 2010 at Shockhound.com.