Not many bands are star vehicles for women drummers. Lenny Kravitz rhythmist Cindy Blackman's jazz trio comes close, but Los Angeles band Autolux' trap-kit pounder Carla Azar is in a class all her own. She plays barefoot at center stage and sings alongside vocalist and guitarist Greg Edwards and bassist Eugene Goreshter. Azar is the conductor, with drumsticks as batons, driving the band's energy from exploding noise segments to serene codas. She can play ferocious or soft, but it's her combination of complex tempo changes and steady meter that gives shape to Autolux' buzzing pop songs. Its 2006 T-Bone Burnettproduced album, Future Perfect, was a critics' favorite that drew comparisons to early-'90s post-punk and noise-pop groups Sonic Youth, Pavement, and My Bloody Valentine. Like those bands, Autolux tempers its pop chords with feverish, detuned guitar blasts and sweetly interwoven male and female vocals. The bittersweet combination has earned the band fans and touring slots with kindred souls including PJ Harvey and Radiohead's Thom Yorke. Latest album Transit Transit adds psychedelic and electronic touches, such as the "Dear Prudence"esque tune "Spots" and the minimalist "Highchair." There's also plenty of raw power on songs like "Kissproof" and teaser single "Supertoys."
This Will Destroy You opens.
Wed., Aug. 11, 9 p.m., 2010