24 February 2019


There's a contextual aspect of virtually any independent musical creation that can sometimes be every bit as important as the content. I saw a modern power violence band last night who had all of the chops, all of the riffs, all of the power....but does that make them better than CROSSED OUT? I mean, they were devastating to be sure, but what about the band who created the sounds, created their own neanderthal style of destruction...and did so in a virtual vacuum without the help of youtube or the internet. Obviously I think that history will judge the former more "important" than the latter, who was able to carefully study their forebears and hone every detail of their craft, which does not mean that the latter didn't level the joint last night, because they absolutely did...and I was wowed. But I think you get my point. Rewind to Minneapolis ethereal goth outfit AUTUMN. In 1992, there was no retro online subculture of misfits and inward punks looking to a bygone era of goth for inspiration. Aside from the true heavyweights, most of the '80s goth/new wave bands were playing way smaller clubs, if they even toured at all. The blurry lines between the sub-scenes became more defined, and I feel like dark wave and goth became even more insular...more isolated. Strict adherence to a bygone subgenre is a bold move in any scenario, and even more so without the digital connection to other outcasts as a crutch. But AUTUMN's four song demo tape is strong and proud, teetering between COCTEAU TWINS spareness and Wayne Hussey's bold guitars, a sound they were creating in Minneapolis at a time when DESTROY was dominating the underground basement scene. Drop AUTUMN in 1984 and they would have mesmerized the masses...instead they continue to create in the face of all of the obvious obstacles, feet firmly planted in a sound, permanently attached to a world that will likely never be theirs, releasing songs that have evolved into a sound that is truly their own after more than a quarter century in the mire. They switched singers before really hitting their stride (no criticism, but Renee's voice is absolutely the focal point of this recording), and in fact their own discography shows them starting two years after the release of this tape with a darker, slightly more aggressive eight song self titled demo, but the innocence and isolated conveyed by this tape might serve as a vote against comfort. AUTUMN did what so many are trying to do, and they seem determined to stand strong amongst the waves of youth and perspective crashing around them...I applaud them, and I listen to "And Deep Inside" with complete focus.

The power violence anecdote was probably a stretch, but I think you get my general idea. 

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