by Mike Schiller

13 November 2006


Space is an appropriate title for Autovaughn’s latest full-length offering, given that it’s all that comes to my head when trying to come up with a lasting impression of the album.  This is pretty typical modern radio-rock by way of early ‘80s U2 production: a treble-heavy, almost tinny feel that puts a lot of emphasis on some decidedly underwhelming guitar parts.  This isn’t to say that there’s anything inherently wrong with it, it’s just that there’s not a single exceptional chorus, not a single profound word sung, not one potential out-of-nowhere hit single—just 4/4 time signatures, guitars that jangle and strum, and a vocalist evoking a less dramatic David Bowie.  Opener “One More Time” is an energetic bit of rock-outery, and closer “Hell of a Place” is an admirable attempt at “epic” (that is, over-six-minute) songwriting that gets there by flipping the song from a mid-tempo snooze into a Franz Ferdinand-esque rock-disco song, but everything in between suffers from too many stop-starts, too much feigned sincerity, and not enough actual hook.  This might fly as a first purchase for a Clear Channel-weaned listener who’s looking for something “indie” to listen to, but really, it’s no better (or worse, to be fair) than typical corporate radio fodder.



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