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 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.
AllMusic Review by Ned Raggett