It could very well be the power of suggestion that I hear a slew of 80’s comparisons in AutoVaughn’s Space. The artwork at their Myspace site includes a line drawing of the Space Shuttle—an image that dominated our culture in the 1980’s and certainly takes me back to those days of going to junior high after watching the Shuttle take off during Good Morning America, of having Home Ec class interrupted by an announcement that the Space Shuttle Challenger had been lost. In the 80’s, I dreamt first of flying the Space Shuttle, and then I daydreamed about what music would I take with me if I was an astronaut.
AutoVaughn comes with an indie 80’s rock akin to something you would’ve found in the cut-out bin where you righteously yelled at the powers that be at their indiscriminate casting of Mighty Lemondrops into some bargain selection. Sure, you looked through the cut-out bin, because it brought more music home for your $5, but that’s where you strangely found G.W. McClennan (didn’t they know that he was a most beautiful songwriter?), Big Country, the Woodentops, This Picture, Lightning Seeds, and more.
Elsewhere, Darren Potluck’s lead vocals are accented in a way that might make you think he was once part of the Outfield and/or a protégé of Colin Hay and Men at Work. Yet, if you’re looking to bring in some more contemporary comparisons, I also hear the clear-toned voice of Dan Haseltine from Jars of Clay.
Besides those cut-out comparisons, I also hear Manchester’s Madtown music not being far away; AutoVaughn finding ways to be a satellite, sending the Smiths and the Stone Roses back down to us. Or perhaps they’re also offering a simultaneous broadcast from Liverpool with some echoes of Echo & the Bunnymen.
Yet, finally I’ve got to come back to present day (after all, the Shuttles are still flying), because AutoVaughn has some of the pop constructions of Switchfoot. There are breakdowns propelled by Andy Grooms’ drums that slam you back into the riffs of Steve Wilson’s lead guitar, but those slams don’t obliterate the tender moments that stand side-by-side.
“Rock Your Body” spins the disco ball rock, and is a fine example of why we still need Space Shuttle Rock with astronauts like drummer Grooms punching the ignition on those booster rockets.
Thanks to AutoVaughn and Onpo Entertainment for the review CD.