Ausmuteants

Ausmuteants

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For years, most people citing Devo as an influence have clearly been chasing the gleaming electronic surfaces of their "little minds through big technology" aesthetic, but more recently, bands have started acknowledging the grittier undercurrents of their music and the darkly clever workings of their songs. Australia's Ausmuteants sound like they were weaned on Devo's first album, judging from their 2013 long-player Ausmuteants, but the lessons they seem to have taken are in the ways one can bounce guitars and synth lines off one another, and how a band can sound tight and chaotic at the same time and make that work in their favor. Ausmuteants also set out to create their own version of Devo's vision on a limited budget, so they've stripped it all back to the essentials -- guitar, bass, synth, drums -- and the spartan attack of Ausmuteants works in the band's favor, sounding like a dry blast of electronic and organic elements roaring past the ears at an impressive velocity. Lyrically, Ausmuteants are following a template more clearly their own, but the angry alienation of "Bad Day," "Tinnitus," and "Kicked in the Head" will sound familiar to anyone who has spent much time with the vintage punk rock that's this band's other touchstone of influence, though the humiliating autobiographical turn of "Piss Myself Twice" is about as original as it gets, as is the perverse fantasy of "Fran Drescher's Alien Abduction." Ausmuteants obviously have no problem wearing their influences on their sleeves, but the imagination they bring to their music is remarkably potent, and there's a strong thread of fierce energy and bent vision on Ausmuteants that makes this a real find; low-tech electronic punk with an eye to tradition (such as it is in this context) and a crazed commitment to their own weird vision.

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