AUTOBAHN - The Moral Crossing

by Jack Kiser Rating:7 Release Date:2017-11-03
AUTOBAHN - The Moral Crossing
AUTOBAHN - The Moral Crossing

Second studio LP from post-punk idolizers, AUTOBAHN, can quickly make a mere laceration turn into a full-fledged battle wound with rapid transitions and frightening intensity. The five piece outfit, hailing from Leeds, England, surely recognize the sheer magnitude of artists that have once gotten their start there. Representing their town well, many of these groups set paradigms for incoming artists willing to curate a new genre. Leeds pioneers such as Gang of Four, Delta 5, and The Mekons practically created template formats not only for this young and vibrant quintet, but for all bands across the world to mimic. The utter drab that is the uneventful and predictable climate in England, allows for a genre like this to flourish with Gothic undertones and dreary mysticism. Additionally, the common ideals of self-reflection and nihilism stimulate creativity in which artists can experiment their music in a number of different directions, sad or upbeat. This is where AUTOBAHN shines best.

As mentioned previously, AUTOBAHN almost instantly gives the listener the idea that they are hearing, of course, a Joy Division record with the complex instrumentation of a Wire record. On their first released studio project, Dissemble, the band jumped out of the gate quickly---signaling to everyone that the traditional sound of post punk has taken a much sharper, nostril-flaring approach. With the amplifiers infinitely louder than whatever was deemed comfortable, this group embellishes its rambunctiousness and chaotic nature to the upmost degree. At first glance, this group made it seem almost effortless to relish elements of such darkness and intensity. With the production of their first record completed by Leeds based producer, Matt Peel, it seemed inevitable that they would be following closely behind the like-minded neighbors of band, Eagulls. While this band still clearly embraces their melancholic ambiance, it is fairly noticeable that their newest collection of songs have subtle hints of radiance. From one album to the next, the simple addition of synth and a jolt-driven drum echo, specifically the song “Future,” it is easy to confuse the sound with something replicating the early 1980’s. Even in songs like, “Execution (Rise),” there are evident elements of industrial percussion with a very heavy vocal reverb, creating an overwhelmingly ominous atmosphere throughout the record. Lastly, the layers of string instruments also demonstrate a level of maturity and patience that many bands today are not willing to apply correctly or at all. These elements that appear continuously throughout the record validate that the band has truly recognized their craft. Even if the experimentation of these sparks of creativity are noncommittal or spur of the moment, it would surely be disappointing if they retract to a simpler approach. The Moral Crossing represents victory in standing ground and growth in style. 

Over the course of any band’s lengthy discography, many fail to recognize the magnitude of breakthroughs from the first record to the second. Embarking on tours opening for different acts, acknowledging what works and doesn’t with your songs, eventually establishes a level of initial maturity that can’t be achieved later in a band’s career path. AUTOBAHN’s recognition of elements that complement their style come earlier than most, thus creating an underappreciated sense of self-awareness that incessantly goes overlooked. If you would like to get lost in an English post-punk revival with all the right accents of a noise rock group, then come follow the ambiguous trail into darkness.

Recommended if you like: Eagulls, TRAAMS, Ought

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