18 October 2019

Art Rock/Post PunkReview: The Pull of Autumn-Afterglow

Release Date: July 25, 2019
Label: RBM Records

Less than a year removed from their debut release, The Pull of Autumn is back with Afterglow, a rich infusion of varied post-punk influences that take the listener to new places, feeling all-the-while like they’ve been there before. The Pull of Autumn is a Boston-based collective of members from Throwing Muses, Hood, Seasurfer, Orange Cake Mix, Hood, and Nick and the Bad Seeds. 

Arrangements are lush, and textures are as varied as the band’s contributors. Traces of influence from these artists’ former groups are unashamedly in the forefront. The fusion of talent evokes a vibe from decades ago when the punk rock attitude embraced by skilled musicians gave birth to post-punk and neo-psychedelia and modern new age. 

Reminiscent of Richard Butler of the Psychedelic Furs, Mark Campbell of the Nails, and David Bowie during his Berlin trilogy, Luke ‘Skyscraper’ James’ vocals are brazened if not melodramatic. On tracks such as “Trouble Time,” “Not Coming Down,” and “Hey America” there feels like an impedance mismatch between James’ vocals and the driving sonic currents flowing below. 

The most compelling parts of Afterglow are the more layered and atmospheric songs where James is not bellowing theatrically to the heavens. These are the tracks with their synth fuzz undertones and layered guitar and piano, which feel like Autumn itself. “Distance,” “They Went Up,” and “Wallow” are lo-fi works of art. “Crack the Red” sounds something from Neutral Milk Hotel while “Sitting by the Window” sounds like a lost track from Love’s “Forever Changes.” 

For me, dropping the needle on any ten seconds of Joy Division’s Unknown Pleasures stirs memories from a slice of time when the future felt frightening, yet full of possibilities. Similarly, The Pull of Autumn’s Afterglow emanates eerily into the present, bringing forth reverberations from a bygone age when fearless experimentation combined with post-punk narcissism evoked a haunting trepidation of the future. Through its highs and lows, darkness and light, and twists and turns, the end result of this listening journey is nothing short of exhilaration. 

Tom Endyke-MuzikMan.net Staff
October 16, 2019

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Tracks:
01. Injure the Swallow
02. Trouble Time
03. Distance
04. They Went Up …
05. Haunted by the Rain
06. Coming Down
07. The Stars or The Jungle
08. Crack the Red
09. Sitting by the Window
10. Sacred Ground
11. Equinox
12. Colder House
13. Stained Glass Windows
14. Hey America!
15. Wallow 


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