Autumn Sweater - Car Park

12 songs
35:41 minutes
***** ****


After two well received EPs released in 2016 and 2017, Luxembourgish indie rock band Autumn Sweater have finally returned with their first longplayer Car Park, released on vinyl and digitally. If the band was still looking for direction on their first EP, and finally closing in on their signature sound on their second EP, it can be said that the album shows Autumn Sweater where they actually want to be. The band which is named after a Yo La Tengo song sounds of course more than just a mere rip-off. Listening through the twelve songs on Car Park, youíll notice how the musicians have been inspired from the Sixties (The Kinks) over the Seventies (Television, Lou Reed) to the Nineties (Pavement, Yo La Tengo, Britpop), most from artists from the United Kingdom and the USA.

The twelve songs on the album donít even average three minutes each, showing that the guys always like to get to the point as quickly as possible. Exceptions are the less than two-minute-long Partner In Crime which sounds like The Cure on speed, and Settle Down, a moving ballad, that makes it just over four minutes. Repeated listening will reveal many highlights, starting with the upbeat opener Midnight which reminds me a little of Irish punk rockers The Undertones. Drinks won me over with its laconic vocal performance and the as usual great guitar work. Usually when weíre talking about great guitar tandems, itís when weíre thinking of metal bands (Iron Maiden: Adrian Smith and Dave Murray, Judas Priest: Glenn Tipton and K.K. Downing, Slayer: Jeff Hanneman and Kerry King,...), but what Autumn Sweater are doing in that domain is just as memorable and can be equalled in the non-metal world only by Televisionís Tom Verlaine and Richard Lloyd.

According to the band, the vinyl record consists of the sides Car and Park, with the former containing the albumís bouncier material, while the latter comes at a more sedate pace. Although this is mostly true, there are fortunately some exceptions that prevent either side from remaining in just that one mood.

No one can accuse Autumn Sweater of being overly original, but itís the way they meld their cis- and trans-Atlantic influences into their very own blend that makes their music so utterly charming and memorable. The band recorded the music live at home, before adding three of the musicians added their vocals, which makes for even more variety. The production is simple yet effective and should appeal to fans of all aforementioned artists. If the preceding EPs had possibly more of a naÔve charm, itís on their debut album where Autumn Sweater finally show that they are a force to be reckoned with.

Back to Reviews