Monday, August 22, 2005

autozamm - as for now [album review]

[Flying Pearl Records]

Okay, so a couple of years back, there were a couple of kiwi bands that looked back to the ‘60s in a big rock and roll way. It was pretty big in England (and Japan!) and even here in New Zealand, too. Well, for a while at least. Inevitably, this fad didn’t last very long, and by the time these bands’ second albums came out, most of us were left wondering what the fuss was all about. I still can’t quite remember, but I could see how it worked at the time.

It’s now about three years after those crazy British people at NME magazine made such a commotion about the likely lads of The Datsuns and The D4. It’s not inappropriate that such a large chunk of this review is dedicated to two bands that are not Autozamm, because Autozamm are definitely indebted to the two. The only difference is that the aforementioned were actually good at what they did—especially in comparison with the stale, clichéd and secondhand sounding pseudo-retro rock that is present on this disc.

Tracks like ‘Sweet Love’ are the sound that I’m talking about here. To the untrained ear, one might assume that this record was indeed The Datsuns, or in other places, The D4. Or anyone, for that matter. Autozamm just end up sounding like some second rate knockoff. In fact, I’d go so far as to say this album is actually completely shit. Washed out, Foo Fighters-esque monotony that all sounds like it has been mixed into the middle is the best type of sound one could find amidst a myriad of attempts at various styles.

That Autozamm will get any recognition for an album like this would probably only come from the fact that they’re from New Zealand. This may sound a little harsh, but think about it. Listen to this album and if you can even remember who the artist was by the end of it, then you’ve accomplished something. There’s nothing New Zealand sounding about it, of course (I mean, is there even such a thing?) but such a imitative and bland rock sound doesn’t have a whole lot going for it. As For Now is ultimately too unsure of itself and too derivative (of everything) to even warrant a passing listen.


Anonymous said...

datsuns a D4 what a load of shit dude. Do you play a instrument do you have any idea what a good song is? This review is by far your worst and I have rather enjoyed your opinions over the last while.
This album sounds nothing like the d4 or datsuns and is a good album with a good range of styles. " Complete shit" maybe you should air check your own radio show and get an idea if what complete shit is. I agree that this album has its faults but is not complete shit and has some great songs on it and I dont hear many bands out there doing what Autozamm are doing and I think thats why you dont get it. Have more than 1 listen to the record and try and be more open minded. You come across as a typical indie wank student so please get over it.
Giving RDU a Bad name, i hear Autozamm all the time on your station...

richard said...

okay, maybe the review was a little rough. i wrote it for canta magazine so it was meant to be fun (in a mean, snobby way) and i don't tend to put a whole lot of time into canta reviews. while it is a little sloppy in terms of writing, i still stand by its main points. no i don't play an instrument but i do have an idea of what a good song is - these songs don't show many aspects of what a conventionally good song is. whatever a "good song" is can be hard to say anyway - isn't such a subjctive notion put nearly entirely down to opinion? and isn't that what a review is anyway? an opinion?

but anyway, while the album is diverse, the attempts at a variety of genres simply don't work. some of the songs are almost laughable. that sounds harsh but i just found it sounded quite silly. i'm not too sure why, i guess it just seems awkward. i think the d4/datsuns link is justified, particularly with the more "rockin'" tracks on the record. even if their aesthetic isn't as one dimensional as the aforementioned d bands, surely the similar characteristics stick out to you. not sure if i'm getting my point across here, but i have no intent of listening to the record again. i mean, why would i? there's soooo much quality stuff out there compared with this. but yeah, the main thing with the review is that in terms of canta magazine, i prefer the antagonistic, pitchfork school of rock journalism to anything more objective.

but hey - let's not bring the rdu playlist into it. just because i do shows there doesn't mean i support everything on the playlist. guitar media is 100% free choice, that is a better representation of what i consider good music. that's not to say that the majority of the rdu playlist isn't good, though. i don't agree with quite a few playlist choices (such as the editors - ick!) but i think the majority is pretty good. and of course i listen to a lot of other genres and styles too.

thanks a lot of yr comments, it's always good getting different opinions on things :)

Anonymous said...

Autozamm are a fucking good band.

Anonymous said...

Autozamm are NOT a fucking good rock band.