As much fun as it is to be iconoclastic, it's tough for the art-rockers of today to escape the bones of the past when trying to break new ground. In fact, the artists who try to make out as if they had no influences often appear the phoniest of all. And so come Autolux: a threesome of LA studio veterans who may get out-hyped and out-acclaimed by other bands (such as the crosstown Liars) but nonetheless have made a better record with Transit Transit's practical rock experiments than most new releases you'll hear this year.
"Supertoys" has a melodic arbitrariness that is both naive and cutting, much like the meanderings of Syd Barrett's Pink Floyd. Even the metric ton of guitar compression (mastered by Bob Ludwig, yum) bears the nurtured sound of Abbey Road Studios that tape ops have sought to emulate for years. Lead single "Audience no. 2" shows Autolux in a more contemporary post-shoe-wave terrain, with cooed vocals ebbing over a choppy beat and grinding, swerving guitars, and not a single lyrical image cutting through the morass.
The band's wonderfully detached mood seems born of their music's head-bouncing distractibility rather than any pretentious pondering. No, no one has put anything in your drink: Autolux are 100 proof.