PUSSY’S DEAD by Autolux
Genre: Dream Pop
Favorite Tracks: “Brainwasher,” “Listen to the Order,” “Reappearing”
Back in 2004, Los Angeles’s unsung electro-rock trio Autolux hacked into the alt-rock surge with their debut album FUTURE PERFECT, and inputted some glitchy, filthy code into their melodic database. Derived from the sultry, computer-generated stylings of Sneaker Pimps and Portishead, Autolux’s dystopian spin on nineties trip-hop and sonic rock joined a robotic soundscape with organic rhythmic structures and temperamental harmonies — a bionic assemblage of elements that tapped perfectly into 21st century perplexity. Members Eugene Goreshter (lead vocals/bass), Greg Edwards (guitar/vocals), and Carla Azar (drums/vocals) are utterly in sync with one another — Azar’s commanding coda of nihilistic percussion pairs nicely with Edwards malfunctioning, reverbed riffs and Goreshter’s eerie vocal lullabies. A combination consisting of such calculated perplexity surfaces every six years; PUSSY’S DEAD follows Autolux’s drowsy sophomore album 2010’s TRANSIT TRANSIT, and yes, it was worth the wait.
Easily the band’s most punctuated and premeditated album, PUSSY’S DEAD’s plays into the physiology of its seamless exoskeleton of techno scaffolding surrounding a humanoid core of individualism. The album’s lyrical play and dichotomous instrumentation fiercely battles assimilation. PUSSY’S DEAD encapsulates the ephemeral nature of 21st century trends all under the decree of constantly refreshing social media feeds. The result is an assemblage of tracks that sound like they weave in and out of reception — into and away from accessibility. The friction generates an intoxicating listening experience thanks to its meticulous production. Boots, the album’s producer who signed on shortly after his last gig producing for Run the Jewels and Beyonce, has an excellent knack for containing freeform rhythmic current within an accessible realm of electronic convention. Programmed beats are masterfully layered on top of Goreshter’s and Azar’s slithering harmonies, conjuring some stellar space rock vibes.
“Brainwasher” suspends the listener in a teetering cyber limbo, pierced with sleek digitized beats that are lacerated by coarse guitar whines. Carla Azar’s haunting soprano careens the track’s unstable bass/programmed drum mount, it’s a blissfully eerie track that attempts to brainwash the listener into accepting its syncopation.
“Listen to the Order” commands a descent into digital deconstruction. Goreshter’s monotone falsetto invades a minimalistic prelude: “Listen to the Order/Pulling on the Static/Just like a decoder that weighs on your mind.” It’s the album’s noisiest track that disobeys its robotic de-emphasis of guitar heavy rock, featuring a stellar eruption of jagged guitar shocks.
“Reappearing” slows things down and sprinkles some simple down tempo into the album’s psych-rock crescendos. It’s down tempo momentum adds some cerebral elegance, veering closer towards the outfit’s sonic and shoegaze predilections.
PUSSY’S DEAD’s zealousness is derived from further agitating their dystopian and miserly predilections. Autolux succeeds in branching away from their gloomy post-punk roots in favor of constructing a futuristic, funk atmosphere from an organic trance foundation. From their self-awareness births a fun and energetic attempt at a techno-infused psych rock album that fits well into the milieu of Lush reuniting to join in on the current nineties revival grind.