Yeah, the Beatles and the Stones and The Sex Pistols and The Ramones all defined a style and an era. While these guys collected gold albums and airplay, an army of musical followers filled the trenches behind them and made good, interesting music while never getting more than locally famous. I believe the original term was “Turntable Hit.” People liked the music, but not enough to buy it. That’s were Autoclave found itself. As the press release sadly announces: “The group lasted for one year and played only a handful of shows.” None of the artists ring any current-day bells, but the sound is punk rock crisp with hard working guitars and drums. Lead vocalist Christina Billotte sounds clear and fine with light flashes of social anger and her lyrics are clean and thoughtful. This band was active around 1990 and by this time punk had settled into a stable field of styles and audience.

I liked “Dr. Seuss” with its bass line echoing “Crystallize my Penis” from MOTO; it’s a calmer set of lyrics, but it’s a punk tune with the toned-down anger of 1989. We find a waltz tempo in “Vision;” her guitar chords scurry around between brief lyrics about bad relations. “Bull’s Eye” looks forward to a post love life; and we detect something upsetting in Billotte’s life. Perhaps she’s searching for serenity and only finding more interference. There’s some meat in this music, and the sound quality is excellent as is the musicianship. It was a nice experiment, but everyone went on to other projects, leaving this time capsule that now available for your listings pleasure.

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