Pleasant stuff indeed; at turns dreamy elegiac and bouncy, but possessing a hint of steel; especially in the guitar-driven tracks like Census. The opener, and title track has a bit of the “Brian Wilsons” about it, what with all the melancholy chords trippy effects and brass, and the Bouncing Wall owes a bit to Lennon at times; but this is not an exclusively hippy trip. The second number, Census, has a restless searching vibe; very reminiscent of a mellow Sonic Youth (we’ll blame it on the riff that introduces the track), but there’s a softer, fuzzier more trippy vibe than the Youth would normally muster with one of their efforts. The laid back vibe is prevalent throughout: a little bit of a nod to the Beta Band, (or Air at their most reflective) can be detected in tracks like Highchair, the sluggish Headless Sky and Spots: soft beats, drowsy guitars and subdued effects are the order of the day, with a soupçon of piano thrown in now and again.
The steel can be detected in tracks like the growling Kissproof, or Supertoys, which is a maudlin mid-tempo piece that chugs along courtesy of some stripped back guitars. And Audience No 2 is a cracking track: a strident drum pattern introduces a melancholy vocal that is mercifully propped up by growling straining guitar part. Now and again things get too tense or claustrophobic and things kick off a bit. But not too much… The last track, The Science of Imaginary Solutions, comes close to merging the two sides of Autolux, the druggy, slightly drippy piano/synth parts are balanced out by a guitar blast now and again.
A good – if laidback -listen all round.