Eat Lights: Become Lights - Autopia (Enraptured)

German group Eat Lights: Become Lights take a break from constant touring to release their debut record.

Released Mar 24th, 2011 via Enraptured / By Norman Miller
Eat Lights: Become Lights - Autopia (Enraptured) It's taken a while for German electronica fans Eat Lights: Become Lights - Neil Rudd (guitars, programming, loops), Rob Hyde (drums) and Alex Baker (bass) - to give the world a debut album, having formed back in 2007 and with a year between two well-received singles, 2008's debut 'They Transmit' (on this album) and 2009's 'Klustered' (not). That's not because they've been slacking, just doing what they seem to like doing best which is mucho gigging - most notably as support on a sold-out tour with Silver Apples.

But it's that clear passion for the live set that undermines this, as for all but a couple of tracks the band seem to think that what works great in front of a crowd works equally well on an album. Track after track lays down a fairly ho-hum synth line, plugs away at it for two minutes, then adds an equally basic guitar riff, then plugs away at both for two more minutes. Then more of the same. OK perhaps if you're bouncing around in the mosh, not so good sitting at home listening.

So there's nothing really to pick out in the first half-dozen tracks. The pretty guitar-meets-synth pop opening of 'Test Drive' goes nowhere, 'Machine Language' buries interesting percussive tinkles way way too deep in its mix, while it takes three minutes of 'They Transmit' before the brief appearance of a great bass line and synth melody.

Suddenly, however, sunlight appears from nowhere with the gorgeous 'Stargazer', where EL:BL finally have the courage to slow the tempo and deliver a gem of electronic violins, voices and percussive tinkles. 'All Aboard' offers a similarly considered, if less appealing, beauty over its 10-minute length - though the closing 'White Horses' goes back to bad habits with a so-so kosmiche mid-tempo lope.

If they're playing near you, go see - it'll probably be a blast. Otherwise, though, too much here is like a B-grade GCSE krautrock class, with only a couple of A*s to lift the spirits.