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Autobody - "The Mean Length of Daylight" (CD)

Autobody - "The Mean Length of Daylight" CD cover image

"The Mean Length of Daylight" track listing:

1. Worms
2. Purrs on Pills
3. Husk of a Man
4. Bloodline
5. Serial Sleep
6. Trucker Hat
7. The Living Edge
8. ...Of Destruction
9. Plastic Dolls
10. One Life Two Styles
11. The #1
12. Best Man
13. Dissolving

Reviewed by on July 15, 2010

"‘The Mean Length of Daylight’ is a four-star debut album with enough meat to it to last a hungry wolf pack for months."

“The Mean Length of Daylight” is a record that’s instantly enjoyable. Maybe that’s because it was recorded on the same tape machine that AC/DC, Metallica, and Aerosmith recorded on. Perhaps it’s because it was mastered at the famed Sterling Sound in New York. Nah, even if this album didn’t have real pro’s working on it, there’s something about this three-piece band from Canada that tells me the record would still be high-quality. This debut album sees the band already settling into their sound, which is something like a combination of Cynic, Destruction, Switched, Primus, and 311.

The first song, “Worms,” sees capable drummer Rob Shawcross leading the band into a frenzied mosh-friendly monster of a song. Bassist/vocalist Jerrod Maxwell-Lyster takes an unorthodox bass line and makes it work while guitarist Graeme McInnis completes the tight rhythm section. “Purrs on Pills,” “Husk of a Man,” “Serial Sleep,” and “Trucker Hat” carry the same mosh-friendly groove and energy, and up the ante as the album moves forward. They bring in some winding build-ups and explosive outbursts, all with a consistent high energy level. In “Serial Sleep,” the vocals sound impressively close to a later Chuck Schuldiner-type of scream. The lyrics are intelligent and thought-out and speak about things like experiences while on tour, seductive dangerous drug trips, freedom from control, and being above the world’s power struggles.

“The Living Edge of Destruction,” a two-piece song, is the peak of the band’s tight and talented songwriting, which would leave most bands tired and cramping from the technicality involved. “Bloodline” slows things down a little bit, but gets super-melodic, comes out of the gate strong, and sits as one of the most memorable songs on the album. Graeme McInnis’s guitar solos are really something to hear, just as tight as his rhythm playing, twice as technical, and with a whole lot of feel to them. In most of the songs, especially “Plastic Dolls,” “One Life Two Styles,” and “Best Man,” the vocals drive Autobody’s impact straight into your chest, and hard.

Autobody does not rest. There’s not a down point on the album where the band slacks off or veers off course, nor is there filler material. The combination of vocal styles here is really interesting, too, and will leave you thinking, “I didn’t know you could put those together in one style and make it work, but they did.”

“The Mean Length of Daylight” is a four-star breakout debut album with enough meat to it to last a hungry wolf pack for months. This album has a bit of something for everyone from the melodic camp to the mosh-hungry pitters, from the growl/scream crowd to the clean-singing lovers, and from the simple thrashers to those hungry for technical playing. This is an album best played loud and on repeat – a professional grade record hinting at great things to come in the future.

Highs: Ridiculously tight coordination, strong memorable songs, and a consistent high energy.

Lows: Occasionally, the lyrics won’t come across well.

Bottom line: The album has something for everyone, from fans of growling to clean-singing lovers, and from simple thrash to those who want something more technical.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)