Autorock - Unknown Movie
This review was commissioned through Ko-fi. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
The limited history of Autorock is just that – limited. The band comes out of Chiavari, Italy and has three members in total: Mirko Galli (synths / machines), Niki Gresteri (guitar, machines, rhythm-box), and Ian Ira Burma (lyrics, vocals, engineer). The project revolves around industrial and ambient pieces built upon a film that was never made foundation. Their first release was in April of 2021 titled “Soundtrack of Zona di Esclusione”. Their new labum “Unknown Movie”, continues the imaginary soundtrack trend and combines the previously mentioned genres as well as post-rock. Further inspiration comes from the metaphysical cinema of Tarkovskij. This somewhat experimental piece, then, comes off with more wrongs than right and is off-center.
‘Mother’ starts off the album and it’s an unusually beautiful piece. Soft synths flutter in the background, but the slight noise in the song gives off a rather ominous illusion. The piano within it is gorgeous as well. My main complaint about this song is its length and repetition; if Autorock could have either added more or changed the formula a bit, I would have appreciated ‘Mother’ much more.
‘Earth’ continues that ill feeling – as if something wrong is about to happen. The five-minute and twenty-six second song has an oppressive atmosphere, and reminds me of so many moments in films where a character is staring out over a cliff at a sea and a sky filled with grey clouds. It’s as if a storm is about to come, but it’s just waiting. There is a high-pitched synth that traces itself throughout the first three-minutes of the track. While it’s okay at first, the note gets annoying as it hardly changes and serves no purpose other than to bother my ears.
‘Pain Cave’ is a rather repetitious bout. The thumping, metallic rhythm sets up a solid foundation but lasts throughout the song’s one-minute and fifty-one second duration. The reverberation that comes in not shortly after the first drop isn’t enough to make the track worthwhile. ‘Black Wolf’ has a prey-drive like sound; bass guitar is played at a deep pitch with very infrequent drum work attached. It’s a very lofi song, though it didn’t do too much for me. The spoken word lyrics are hit with static that butcher whatever the narrator is attempting to say, and the rest of the track just simply isn’t that good. It’s minimal, that’s for sure, but boring as well.
While I can see the usefulness of ‘Perpetual room’ in a haunted house, the reversed sounding whispers, samples, and general field recording sound of the track doesn’t necessarily translate well into a soundtrack. It’s one of the tracks on “Unknown Movie” that I skipped multiple times on repeated plays of the album. ‘Summer Night on the Lunar Sea’ comes off as a post-punk / darkwave track, but the beats are covered up in a lo-fi mess with further blurred out lyrics. I wish they would have brought those rhythms and beats to the forefront of the track so I could better hear what’s going on, but its all muffled. The final track on the album, ‘Solaris’, is an eleven-minute and thirty-eight second dark ambient piece. The easiest word that I can use to describe this piece is generic. It’s nothing great, and everything they do on this track I have heard before. But it sounds decent. So, production isn’t the problem; the writing is.
Autorock’s “Unknown Movie” is a very obscure listen, and I could see how it’s a decent stab at the imaginary soundtrack idea. That being said, there are way too many shortcomings and oddities within “Unknown Movie” for it to be worth further exploration. Each song or track on the album has a unique problem, despite any praise it may receive from me. And those problems are more piercing than the good I’ve discovered on “Unknown Movie”. Four-and-a-half out of ten.May 09 2022
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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