Tribal Jargon Records
The phrase “instrumental rock” falls into the category of “non-words” – along with “light beer” and “decaf coffee.” Generally, there ain’t no such thing. However, never say never. Boston’s Auto 66 has created an incredible argument in favor of not having vocal mics in the studio called Pro*Mo, a seven track collection of compelling songcraft and sounds that makes you rethink the idea of vocal-less music. What strikes you first is the restraint – instead of rolling tape and blazing, these guys allow the songs to evolve – some darkly, others less so, but always interestingly. The band’s ace in the hole is the rhythm section- bassist Tristram Lozaw and drummer Jon Coe. Together, they sound like Joy Division – melodic bass and cymbal-heavy drumming that complements guitarist Doug Vargas well. The trio has captured an easy grace to playing, with each instrument having a voice that supports the others, instead of drowning them out. Vargas summons forth washes of dirty guitar that remind you of perhaps Robert Fripp or the Edge, but with more the energy and anger of those great Neil Young/Crazy Horse live moments. This is truly grand stuff.