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Autodrone

Strike a Match

(Clairecords; US: 11 Nov 2008; UK: Available as import)

Strike a Match is a moody and heavily-textured record, but Autodrone seem to ease their way into its intricacies. The title track, which opens the record, suggests an album of ‘80s revivalist rock that is just harsh enough to avoid being called new wave. But then the next track, “Final Days”, dips its toe in the album’s mood as Katie Kennedy’s vocals rise up and overtake the fuzzy guitars. It’s still pretty straightforward, but there are some holes in the verses, some interplay between Kennedy and the guitars that works better than the opener. After that, once you hit the droning noise pulsing of “100,000 Years of Revenge”, you are fully entrenched in this compelling album. From there the band steps back from trying to sound like a rock, and sound like a band that knows their own sound. The ebb and flow of echoed chords on “Sometime”. The droning of “Moth of July” punctuated by haunting shouts buried deep in the track. The arena-sized but eerily dark “With Arms Raised”. These are the eccentricities that make Strike a Match a compelling listen. The deeper you get into the record, the more Autodrone reveal themselves to be a band with quite a bit of range. And while this album gives the wrong first impression, the second impression is one that will leave a distinct mark.

Rating:

Matthew Fiander is a music critic for PopMatters and Prefix Magazine. He also writes fiction and his work has appeared in The Yalobusha Review. He received his M.F.A. in Creative Writing from UNC-Greensboro and currently teaches writing and literature at High Point University in High Point, NC. You can follow him on Twitter at @mattfiander.


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