Another excellent band that slipped through the cracks. Is this their only album? Who knows. Definitely worth seeking out, though. File under "noise rock", "shoegaze", "post punk".
Strike a Match is a moody and heavily-textured record, but Autodrone seem to ease their way into its intricacies. The title track, which opens the record, suggests an album of ‘80s revivalist rock that is just harsh enough to avoid being called new wave. But then the next track, “Final Days”, dips its toe in the album’s mood as Katie Kennedy’s vocals rise up and overtake the fuzzy guitars. It’s still pretty straightforward, but there are some holes in the verses, some interplay between Kennedy and the guitars that works better than the opener. After that, once you hit the droning noise pulsing of “100,000 Years of Revenge”, you are fully entrenched in this compelling album. From there the band steps back from trying to sound like a rock, and sound like a band that knows their own sound. The ebb and flow of echoed chords on “Sometime”. The droning of “Moth of July” punctuated by haunting shouts buried deep in the track. The arena-sized but eerily dark “With Arms Raised”. These are the eccentricities that make Strike a Match a compelling listen. The deeper you get into the record, the more Autodrone reveal themselves to be a band with quite a bit of range. And while this album gives the wrong first impression, the second impression is one that will leave a distinct mark.
(7 out of 10 stars)
From Ned Raggett at AllMusic:
Shoegaze as a constant form still provides the thrills of its origin points, but admittedly too many bands avoid the sheer bite and anger of a lot of its earliest practitioners -- groups like early Lush, Bleach, the Charlottes, and of course My Bloody Valentine itself. New York's Autodrone, while not consciously drawing from many of those bands, finds its own strong voice on its full-length debut, cranking up not only the guitars but the sharp vocal sentiments and style of Angel Lorelei. She cuts through the mix rather than blissing out in it, and as a result adds a strong smack to the overall sound. Songs such as the near-strident "Final Days" and "Sometime" have a presence that probably hits even more strongly live, but on disc still sounds brutal enough. Guitarist Justin Alisauskas, while working from familiar templates, makes his own mark on songs like "100000 Years of Revenge," all tremolo abuse and howling mania, and the huge slow burn of "Moth of July," the closest the album gets to full-on modern psych doom. Things begin wonderfully with "Strike a Match," a classic shoegaze number but with a chunky undertow, while the singer keeps things a little more direct and focused -- lost in the mix but seeking a way out, if you like -- while near the end "Of Home" almost feels like a movie-credit closer, a way to bow out on a high note. In a nice twist on everything, "With Arms Raised" takes a distinctly different, far warmer, and more immediately exultant feeling -- less a chance to rage loud as it is to kick up one's heels and have a ball, even with the singing remaining laden with just enough sting.
(4 out of 5 stars)