(Hummus/Czar of Revelations/CrazySane/S.K.)
The self-titled release from indie super group, Autisti is as engaging and weirdly spun a record as will come out this year, without ever veering off into being cloying. Right off the bat, the band’s composition brands it as unique: two guitars, dual vocals and a drums-only rhythm section. Their catchy brand of indie-rock is off-kilter, isn’t shy about coming across as cranky and a few times skews off into the realms of maladjusted.
The 8-song album opens up “The Dower” an un-tethered bit of jangle pop rock. It feels sloppy in the way that old Dinosaur Jr. did an aspect captured by the basement demo production vibe, but it is so charmingly vibrant that the flaws easily become the song’s character. Maybe my favorite track on the album, “Peaches For Planes” crashes all over the place, earnestly sung vocals with lost dog howls that never relent from their clamorous origins. I’m dying to hear any and all of this live, most of all “No Anchor” the album’s ballast. On the penultimate track, “Trundle Beds” the band brings a sense of cross-eyed arousal into the mix, gently tapped percussion and a whispered vocals that sound as though they were recorded on a Goodwill boom box. That improv vocal aesthetic appears all over the record, the lyrical content taking a back seat to Louis Jucker’s no holds barred delivery. Autisti manages a decent range, from sly creepers on “Curb” which twists around in your gut and “L’Altro Mondo” which shivers and spurts before properly freaking out in the end.
The music on this record was recorded in 2015 almost two years ago, which makes one wonder where the band has been hiding out in the interim. Jucker has been working on a mega art book, something called L’Altro Mondo of which Autisti is a part, but who knows in that’s part of the barrier for release. It certainly can’t be quality. My quibbles with Autisti are that band allows their songs crumble to a finish, which is fine, but their taste in studio noise is hardly compelling; a few times, I found myself pressing forward to the next track. Just get on. Still, this album should have come out some time ago.
I have been nagged by a hankering for something with sass that doesn’t come off as too terribly full of itself. Thankfully, Autisti hit my sweet spot. By the time this record ran out I wanted more. Of Autisti. Of their songs. The weirdness. Autisti is Swiss, go figure.