If you listen closely to the wind, you can, on occasion, hear the immortal words of Eric Cartman gently whisper “whatever, I do what I want.”
Jiffy Marx, The Silo, CC Voltage, and Lars Von Seattle, under the moniker Autogramm, have built a parasail from the skins of their 80s pop punk, synth-driven enemies and caught the prophetic winds of change to release their latest album Music That Humans Can Play.
Compiling experiences within bands like Black Mountain, Destroyer, Night Court, Spitfires, Bread & Butter, Spun Out, Black Halos, Catheters, and Lightning Dust, Autogramm successfully achieves a sound that is really nothing like any one of those for any significant period of time. Instead, Autogramm packs a strong sense of synth-forward alt-punk presence into ten tracks that are everything you need, and then some.
Balancing a genre/decade-spanning sound, Music That Humans Can Play borrows minor moments from various times and places, shifting between reminiscent lines to familiar compositions, to ultimately achieve one hell of a record. The vibrant neon glow of alt-pop fires across the 80s, 90s, and early 00s while remaining anchored in a present rock condition full of light and hope. From the optimistic realism “Born Losers” to the power swells of “Westbound” to the crash-riding waves of “Dive Right In,” Music That Humans Can Play forms a self-aware rock album that is as free as an 80s kid flying off a ramp with no knee pads, helmet, or care in the world and as cool as a dude with a mullet, five-o-clock-shadow, Ray-Bans, and T Top Trans Am on a Summer afternoon.
Refraining from falling into a sound too similar to their other projects, Autogramm parties in a world they’ve created that is all their own. The album skirts a sense of trying to find what it is Autogramm wants to sound like, but as soon as any semblance of that enters your mind, it is gone as quickly as the next note. Seemingly without a care in the world, Music That Humans Can Play embodies the liberating sense of doing whatever Autogramm wants and succeeding on a genuinely fun, if not addicting, level.