June 21, 2007

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Auto Interiors, Let’s Agree to Deceive Our Best Friends
Rykodisc, 2007

Granted, there’s something Mission of Burma cum AC/DC going on here with these Cambridge, Mass.-based middle-minds, who swear they’re doing “record-collector rock,” but there’s also a sneaky effort to rekindle the flyblown 90s-indie status quo ante (could someone fire off a quick text if Fearless Freep’s become theoretically relevant again)? Giving new meaning to the term “so what,” Eric Waxwood’s (nope, that’s not a porn alias, but good thinking) post-punk guitar squalls do all they can to make his throaty stammer exciting, and indeed the first two songs do move past fair-to-middling into I-should-maybe-burn-that-to-a-mix-someday territory, but soon afterward the crickets start chirping, and the chirping quickly becomes so deafening that you realize the only people who’ve ever ventured this far into the record either died of apnea around song #5 or were unlucky local critics assigned the task of motivating just one sucker to sacrifice three Happy Meals worth of scratch for the legal version, a thankless marketing chore that invariably calls for the use of adjectives like “angular,” “streamlined” and the like. Angular and streamlined as this is, these chaps couldn’t rock-swindle their way out of a wet paper bag. C- — Eric W. Saeger