Upon hearing that Autobahn had leaked their latest album, The Moral Crossing, on the Dark Web (meaning you have to download Tor Browser and delve into the unknowns of the internet), they had my attention. Similarly, with their piercing opener consisting of flanging string-plucking and a shoegaze frenzy, their intensity in a live capacity drew me into their world.
Hailing from Leeds, the band are currently outing The Moral Crossing on an extensive UK tour. Tonight, they took to the stage of The Louisiana in Bristol. Opening with ‘Prologue’, Autobahn sonically amassed a gothic atmosphere from the off. With the members lurking around the stage, the band performed the industrial-sounding omen-like track ‘Obituary’, rattling the walls of the legendary venue.
At their most anguished, ‘Execution/Rise’ and ‘Low/High’ held the crowd in a trance with seady gothic drumbeats and bass lines, playing testament to the hypnotic and, in places, psychedelic tint of the band’s live performances. In particular, ‘Creation’ appeared as something verging on a darker rendition of a Cocteau Twins track – an element owing to the droning and transfixing guitar.
Performing some older tracks including ‘Society’, over the course of their performance, the range of influences and brevity of development Autobahn have attained is clear to see, and is hard to ignore. With the more industrialised and electronic sound heard in their latest material, Autobahn are a live spectacle in terms of their musicianship and development.
Carried by a rolling archetypal post-punk bassline, Future rounded up their short but sweet set in the west country. Autobahn have been under the surface for a few years too many. The release of The Moral Crossing shows a refusal of a platitudinous status, and instead opens new avenues for the gloomy five-piece.
Autobahn tour the UK November and December 2017, with tickets available through their website.
Words by Jasmin Robinson