Monday, February 04, 2008

Autolux at the El Rey Theatre

I go to enough concerts that I sometimes get deja vu. This was case as I walked up to the El Rey theatre to see Autolux and Health. It turns out I witnessed the same line up in April 2007 at the Casbah that I reviewed here. As nice as it was to see both bands up close at the tiny Casbah, the larger El Rey held up well to tsunami like waves of noise and feedback turned out by both bands.


Health is not for the weak at heart. If you like blasts of feedback, distorted vocals, spacey guitars and haunting tribal drum patterns then you will not be disappointed. It was an all out war, as Health pummeled the audience with ferocious drums and shards of noise. Health's music could easily be the new soundtrack to "Lord of the Flies" or "Apocalypse Now". "Triceratops" sounded like a dinosaur running through a primal world leaving nothing it its wake of destruction. "Crimewave" was a tribal call to arms as all members were armed with drumsticks hitting anything and everything. It was an orchestration of organized chaos and noise. It was such a display of non commercial music friendly that it could very well breakthrough. The secret weapon of Health is hands down their drummer who frantically drives the life from his drums in a way that would make John Bonham proud. Their album is available on itunes via Lovepump United Records. Health will be joining Crystal Castles on tour and will make at stop at the Roxy on March 9th. Don't say I didn't warn you.


I have managed to review Autolux a number of times at Little Radio, Casbah, a mind blowing Natural History Museum performance, Epicentre , Sunset Junction and a highly memorable Wiltern show. Autolux are so good that the most recent performance you attend trumps the prior show as your favorite. This was true again as the El Rey show featured Autolux at their finest. "Finders Fee" opened the evening with squalls of harmonious feedback accompanied by Carla Azar's syncopated drumming. "Finders Fee" was revamped compared to prior live versions that I have heard with added noise from Greg Edwards (Guitars) and a faster drum break by Carla. A new song that contained the lyrics "Your Future"(?) followed with screaming guitar octaves from Greg and trade off vocals between Eugene and Carla. The characteristic drum shuffle of "Turnstile Blues" followed with a slight echo placed on Eugene's vocals before collapsing into a tidal wave of Greg's distortion and fuzz. "Subzero Fun" had an extended intro by Greg until Eugene sneaked in on the vocals as Autolux carved out another sonic masterpiece. "Capital Kind Of Strain" had Greg sample his a riff with E-bow for the haunting loop intro. "Plantlife" was vicious as Greg tore eardrums apart with his Gibson SG blasts. "Reappearing" also seemed to be reworked with its hazy psychedelic intro that turned into an epic noise showcase to end the song. "The Science of Imaginary Solutions" had Greg use a capo on the 1st fret of his guitar. Autolux also worked through "Blanket", "Robots In The Garden" and "SSW". I knew I was witnessing something special when Autolux came out for a rare encore of the song "Headless" as mentioned by Scott. Autolux will be playing Coachella and should not be missed. I eagerly await the day I can hold a new Autolux record in my hands.

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