Album number three for these North American synth punks or should that be punx? Taking advantage of the pandemic to strengthen their numbers from three to four. Heavy on the power pop and expanding the sound Autogramm embrace the old wave New Wave if you know what I mean. Sure it’s tubeway army for the 21st century mixed in with a healthy dose of Buggles and The Cars. But let’s not forget these guys come from the punk rock backwaters and that grounding has served them well as they’ve taken the attitude into the modern age and embraced different instruments and how punk rock can be played. they once released ‘No Rules’ and they certainly apply that to their music. Instead of being tied to one style of post-punk or another, they embrace it all and turn it into something clearly defined as Autogramm.
The album opens with the 80s synth-pop of ‘Born Losers’ that breaks out into a real 80s crowd pleaser and is unashamedly dripping with pop played with guitars and synths and nailing their flag to the mast of the jocks target in high school but the chicks know these cats got the cream. The first single is the excellent ‘WannaBe’ with its barking synth guitar throb championing being who or whatever you want to be and as the song twists and turns from the sparse bass throb to the lush harmonies it is a real earworm and one I highly recommend playing at volume. Man, there are moments on this record that take me back to when Gary Numan was the real deal with his pencil leather tie and the synth run on ‘Why Do We Dance’ leads us into one of those Devo meets Cars tunes. Robotic and cool but with some snot on their sleeves and a bit of edge in the vocal delivery.
One thing I get the more I play the record is how good it makes me feel. I love the guitar chops on ‘Love Is For Fools’ It’s such a ray of sunshine and it’s infectious stuff. ‘Plastic Punx’ was one of the videos that was released before the album came out and it’s an energetic romp through synth punk rock so don your funky shades curl your lip up and let’s pogo. I love the retro new wave of ‘Yesterday’ it reminds me of the Teardrop Explodes.
After me championing the upbeat, lucky nature of this album ‘Always Gonna Be My Girl’ is a mellow moment with sparse arrangement and the last song of the disco when you grab your girl and cheek to cheek you slow dance before she has to go home. To close off the record we take another gear shift with the more punchy ‘Dive Right In’ It’s like they’ve emerged from hibernation switched on the Commodore 64 watched a rerun of Back to the Future and written some new wave tunes looking forward to a brighter future and with this, in the cassette deck the future is so bright I have to wear shades. I know it Autogramm knows it and now you know it. Don’t delay get in it, this is music that humans have played and they’re just like me and you and if you’re here you probably also have exquisite taste so get over to Beluga if you are this side of the pond and Stomp if you’re stateside. Great Scott get back to the future kids and get some Autogramm, like yesterday you’ll enjoy it.
Author: Dom Daley