The third album from Leeds post punk kraut lot Autobahn manages to be both blistering and explore less brutal concepts such as love and emotion. The bands gruesome, pulverising sound should appease any fans of Bauhaus and Joy Division still lurking about.
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For anyone who only reads about Leeds being a great vibrant city let me re-iterate - it is still bleak. Very bleak. It is made up generally of quite tall grey concrete buildings which block out any sun that has the audacity to squeeze through the near constant cloud cover. No wonder bands from Leeds are miserable - I mean did you hear Eagulls latest? I know.
Autobahn also follow a path of rain grey harrowing intensity. Theirs is a world where Joy Division, the Cult and the Cure hold forth drinking bitter in nasty back street boozers waiting for the rain to stop just for a minute. The title track is the standout, several minutes of propulsive drumming, barked out vocals and incendiary slashed guitars. It sounds like everyone you listened to in 1981 but it's so intense you get swept into it with no escape. Until that point they hadn't reached such dizzy heights but still prove that they can create an intense racket. 'Obituary' sounds like the sort of noise angry young men made in the eighties, the regional dialect of Craig Johnson's shouting just adding to the feeling that you are in a scout hut in Drighlington in 1983. But elsewhere on 'Future' there's more subtlety with a dreamlike composition with restrained vox and pulsing electronics.
It would have been perfect for Halloween. It's one long splurge of post-punk angst which weirdly clocks in at only 40 minutes. We played it the other day and were sure the band had created a 70 minute opus. But that's the world of Autobahn, it's driven and relentless and battered along by some intense drumming they have created the perfect soundtrack for putting your life back together after a particularly hard winter.
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