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Autopilot Off - Make A Sound (Cover Artwork)

Autopilot Off

Autopilot Off: Make A SoundMake A Sound (2004)
Island Records

Reviewer Rating: 3.5
User Rating:


Contributed by: adamAdam
(others by this writer | submit your own)

This full length seems like it's been in the works forever. Autopilot Off signed to Island back in 2001 and aside from promising EP the year after, the band's big "major label debut" has been a long time coming. Particularly interesting is how much the mainstream's interest in the punk scene has shi.
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This full length seems like it's been in the works forever. Autopilot Off signed to Island back in 2001 and aside from promising EP the year after, the band's big "major label debut" has been a long time coming. Particularly interesting is how much the mainstream's interest in the punk scene has shifted since. In context, this was a band signed during the tail end of Blink 182's dominance and before the nu-emo element became the 800-pound gorilla it is today. One wonders if the label was expecting to catch a bandwagon that has since changed.

Fortunately the end product plays into neither trend and avoids the usual pitfalls that you see on debuts like these. Make A Sound arrives very earnestly, free of hype but free of the bullshit that comes with hype. The band has very wisely took the more rocking elements of their EP a step further. The band's rhythm section sounds particularly good on this recording and the production favours Phil Robinson's drums. It gives the record a heavier feel than others of this style and further cements the band's place as more of a straight up rock band than a pop punk act per se. The guitars on Make A Sound follow suit and offer a bit more variety and muscle than you'd expect. Thankfully Chris Johnson dosen't let things weaken vocally and proves that unlike so many of his contemporaries he can actually sing. The boy's got the pipes to actually deliver strong, forceful chorus' and almost never lapses into the pre-pubescent post-Blink vocals that most mainstream pop punk suffers from.

Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong shares co-writing credits on the album's first single "What I Want" and "Blind Truth." The latter features verses that are very characteristic of Tim's writing and is a nice change of pace in the record. Autopilot Off writes particularly strong, soaring chorus' that are prominently featured in infectious tunes like "Clockwork" and the title track. The pace is pretty consistent throughout, interrupted by the occasional slower tempo work (I hesitate to call them ballads) like "Divine Intervention." For the most part though this is pretty upbeat, rocking material. While there's no fault in the band's execution of it, the songs themselves aren't incredibly distinctive. This is a band that lacks a really distinguishing element, and while the absence of a strikingly unique voice or personality might hurt their chances at mainstream recognition, it generally frees their music from the shallow artifice of so much other pop-punk.

Make no mistake, this is a polished, slightly over-produced major label effort, but with that acknowledged it's quite well done. If Autopilot Off is going to be the new face of mainstream American pop-punk, I can certainly live with that.

 

 
People who liked this also liked:
No Trigger - CanyoneerMillencolin - Pennybridge PioneersStrike Anywhere - Exit EnglishRx Bandits - ProgressLess Than Jake - Losing StreakThe Loved Ones - Keep Your HeartAutopilot Off - Autopilot OffRise Against - The Sufferer & the WitnessThe Arcade Fire - Neon BibleThe Clash - The Clash

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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
blackhawk32 (November 5, 2009)

This album is probably one of my favorites. "I Know You're Waiting" is such a good song, even though its slower and not so much a punk song, its a really good listen, the lyrics are very vivid. It's probably my favorite song of all time. "Blessed By A Nightmare" is another underrated song. Great lyrics and an explosive chorus. There isn't one song on here that I don't like.

Rocktopus (October 28, 2007)

The over production kills it. Despite that, its a good album.

GlassPipeMurder (August 25, 2006)

only cd i've ever thrown away

Anonymous (April 21, 2005)

zis albeum iz souper! aie lauve ite !

Anonymous (October 16, 2004)

This is the best CD i own...there isnt a bad song on there, and both 'Clockwork' and 'Blessed by a Nightmare' are maybe the best rock songs ive ever heard. The 12th day is also a great track

Anonymous (August 19, 2004)

I think both albums are awesome APO is a great band

Anonymous (June 17, 2004)

Tim Armstrong is a cock and needs to die. He can't sing, write, he thinks he's hardcore and then performs songs like
"fall back down", which are more pussy than good charlotte.

Anonymous (May 11, 2004)

Best Album of 2004 So Far... New Clockwork is Amazing

Anonymous (May 4, 2004)

I usually hate this kind of music but Autopilot off are different than the other bands. They are a little more punk rock than the other pop-punk bands out there so the only songs I don't like are the traditional pop-punk relationship songs.

joeg (May 3, 2004)

i'm normally not into the poppy punk style but these guys are decent. only downside is that their songs don't separate themselves from each other too well.

Anonymous (May 2, 2004)

lol get over it dudes cooter is not a band anymore stop trying to sound cool because you're old school woooooo

Anonymous (May 2, 2004)

I hate Tim Armstrong. That is all.

Anonymous (May 1, 2004)

i liked them better as Enos.

Anonymous (May 1, 2004)

Wow, these chaps smoke the cock like it's 1988.

-Cooter

notfeelingcreative (April 29, 2004)

Expect nothing and never be disappointed. I expected to hate this, I don't, it's not really my thing, but i've heard worse.

Anonymous (April 29, 2004)

"blah.. blah.. and it's too bad that you think that they need him to help. bands collaborate because they are friends (uh-huh) and enjoy sharing music together (right). sheehs, think my friend....think (heed your advice)."

TIM GOT PAID FAT. END OF STORY.

Anonymous (April 28, 2004)

"I remember driving up there to see a band called Lounge, and Cooter was playing but everyone said they were a local band."

Score's for Lounge, and that album where they were all superheros on the cover. Great band back in the diz-ay.

- Phatty Arbuck-izzle

Anonymous (April 28, 2004)

I just got the CD and I'm likin' it. I think it has a good flow and it was worth the ten bucks I paid to get it.

Anonymous (April 28, 2004)

They're not from Poughkeepsie, they're from Monroe - in Orange County, New York.

Also, it's cool you all know they were Cooter, but isn't it getting a wee bit old now?

Jesse (April 28, 2004)

Cooter! cooooooter!

Anonymous (April 28, 2004)

"It's too bad you don't understand that the label picks the single not the band. and it's too bad that you think that they need him to help. bands collaborate because they are friends and enjoy sharing music together. sheehs, think my friend....think."

I never said the label didn't pick the single, but since they did, the label obviously considers 'what i want' the best song for a single, which happens to be co written by Tim, therefore: the band needed Tim to write their single,granted it was a collaboration of friends, whatever, they still had their single written by Tim, no matter who picked it. LAME! Write your own hits Cooter.

Anonymous (April 28, 2004)

Die young and save yourselves!!!

viceroymonarch (April 28, 2004)

"Someone stop Tim Armstrong, it seems he is guesting or writing or co-writing on like everything nowadays"

...Except, ironically, Operation Ivy, which is who he should be working with right now. Come on, you and Jesse have forgiven each other by now.

Ted_The_Bellhop (April 27, 2004)

Someone stop Tim Armstrong, it seems he is guesting or writing or co-writing on like everything nowadays

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

"... free of hype but free of the bullshit that comes with hype."

I'm a sorry, confused boy. I just want to take a nap after reading that.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

"its too bad they need tim armstrong to write a single too. Who are you, Pink? LAME. "

It's too bad you don't understand that the label picks the single not the band. and it's too bad that you think that they need him to help. bands collaborate because they are friends and enjoy sharing music together. sheehs, think my friend....think.

viceroymonarch (April 27, 2004)

Yes, APO is from Poughkeepsie.

And I hope that out of respect for the dead, nobody after this even acknowledges the post right below me. Just pretend its not there.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

9/11 was a bullshit skit put on by the media. It is a farce, much in the same way landing on the moon was

aubin (April 27, 2004)

I'm pretty happy with how this record turned out... it has some weak spots but it's generally a good record.

As for the "9/11" subject of the lyrics, I don't think there is anything wrong with a band tackling that subject. I think the Bouncing Souls did it incredibly well on Anchors Away simply because it was a personal statement.

For most people in the 18-34 age group, September 11th was the most insane thing that ever happened. Sure, one hundred people die from cancer for every one that dies from terrorism, but something about the way it happened left an indelible impression.

I would hope that we haven't become so cynical that people writing music about a traumatic event need prerequisites.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

Is cooter/APO from Poughkeepsie, NY????

I remember driving up there to see a band called Lounge, and Cooter was playing but everyone said they were a local band.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

just to add to my last comment, I just feel that 9/11 was used against me by the media including musicians to fuck my mind up and hate other countries and buy into the 'were #1 we're better than every other country, we are right, put a flag on your car and salute it daily, don't question, its nationalism time baby' to the point that it has disgraced the memory of those who lost their lives. I didn't turn on my tv on 9/11/02 or 9/11/03 due to this media shit fest of reminding me how much i should unquestioningly love my country and police because of the events of that day. Well not all the boys in blue are hero's and america's shit does stink. All of that tied to 9/11 just turns me off to any sappy pappy song about the tragedy, preying on my emotions and influencing my normally rational thought to become irrational. BOMB THE SAND NIGGERS! and unfortunately, i think it effects other peoples minds 10x worse. I remember someone i know saying 'lets bomb iraq, thats good, because they were on those planes and saddam is friends w/ osama'. meanwhile, their were no Iraqi's on those planes and Osama hates saddam, but due to the media using 9/11 as an emtional tool to get the publics approval, anyone we bomb is justified, anything we do is justified in the name of revenge. totally fucked. fuck me. i'm gonna go sit and spin like that guy said.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

"To the person that said "bands like cooter are overstepping there boundaries a bit trying to tackle this subject" - I would like to tell you to sit and spin, asshole."

I was the one who said that..

" I am from the same town as Autopilot Off, and while you may not still be affected by the tragedy of 9/11 two and a half years later, there are still many members of our community that have never seen family members and friends since that day."
I never said I wasn't affected by 9/11, I'm from Pittsburgh and had several friends whom lost family members in the tragedy. Everyone was effected by that day, I wasn' tsaying that, and tons of people lost someone important to them in the tragedy. However, it was 2.5 years ago, I'm not saying I forget, but greiving and dwelling on this gets you nowhere. Any grief conselor will tell you that it is unhealthy to dwell on things like this after several years.Its not saying 'forget 9/11' or '9/11 wasn't a big deal' i'm saying '9/11 happened, now what can we learn from it and lets move forward'.

"Not to mention that several of Autopilot Off's good friends, and family members, wear blue to serve and protect the City of New York everyday - and served and protected it during that very turbulent time. "
Thats awesome, thanking them is cool as hell. But in my opinion, writing songs about 9/11 is cliche. yellowcard did it, boxcarracer did it, good charlotte did it, every contry artist did it, fred durst and a bunch of pop stars did it, u2 did it. I'm not saying 'get over it' and i know this is a touchy subject, but if i want to hear a pop punk band, i dont' want to hear them singing about 9/11. sorry.

"So before you go running your mouth that a band is "overstepping their bounds", make sure you know a little more about them than their old name was Cooter."
What do i need to know about them aside that their old band name is cooter? I saw them live, i met them, they're from new york. Their personal lives do not interest me.I dont' care if one of them is a teacher. if they lost friends in 9/11 , then i'm sorry,but i look at bands as music and artists not as my friends from my hometown who i have a personal connection w/ and blah blah blah like you. 9/11 is a cliche subject. Move on and sing about how we need to change so that 9/11 doesnt happen again. And they are overstepping their bounds in my opinion, they are a fucking pop punk band trying to tackle a super serious subject. it comes off sounding like good charlotte's the innocent. a nice gesture, but corny and trite. i know i'm not from new york but i think i can have an opinion on the matter. too many of those 'were america, were gonna give you the boot up the ass, if you dont' like it get the hell out' NYC chest thumpings and nationalistic grandstanding songs have turned me off to the subject. it seems like an excuse to start hating other countries and anyone not american.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

This album is one of the greatest pop-punk albums in recent years. It's also more "rock" oriented than "pop" oriented which makes this a lot more refreshing than most pop-punk out there. Good album.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

religious...dictionary?

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

To the person that said "bands like cooter are overstepping there boundaries a bit trying to tackle this subject" - I would like to tell you to sit and spin, asshole. I am from the same town as Autopilot Off, and while you may not still be affected by the tragedy of 9/11 two and a half years later, there are still many members of our community that have never seen family members and friends since that day. Not to mention that several of Autopilot Off's good friends, and family members, wear blue to serve and protect the City of New York everyday - and served and protected it during that very turbulent time.

So before you go running your mouth that a band is "overstepping their bounds", make sure you know a little more about them than their old name was Cooter.

inagreendase (April 27, 2004)

They totally fucked up "Clockwork" though. Not only did they add those shitty little effects to the verses, but they completely changed the music and lyrics of the chorus; it doesn't sound like it should go with the verses at all now. Not to mention the obvious poppiness of it.

It sounded 20x better on the split with Slick Shoes.

Jesse (April 27, 2004)

"Who are you, Pink? LAME."

HAHHAHAAHAHAHAHAHAHAA!!!

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

Not impressed at all, good thing it was only 7 dollars. Clockwork is a sick song...thats about it. The review is pretty much dead on, nothing real distinguishable from track to track, nothing really sticks w/ you. Chris has a good voice but its nothing distinct. They have nothing separating them from the pack, it just sounds like offspring pop punk or something. Not cheesy but not really that good

there seems to be some weird religeous thing going on w/ this cd too. I swear several of the songs deal w/ religeon and death. I'm not much for religeon.

And they wrote a song about 9/11. Now I'm sorry, but that was always and is especially now, trite. Its lame. Remember 'the innocent' by good charlotte and feldman? horrible. 9/11 was an awful event, but please, every pop punk band in the world doesn't need to cover that ground, especially 2.5 years later. Not trying to be a dick here, its a sensitive issue, I just think bands like cooter are overstepping there boundaries a bit trying to tackle this subject.

its too bad they need tim armstrong to write a single too. Who are you, Pink? LAME.

And its waaaaaay overproduced, even for mainstream pop punk, this is afi 'sing the sorrow' production style, except that lack the dramatic hooks and powerful riffs to necessitate that kind of huge stadium production.

inagreendase (April 27, 2004)

I liked Looking Up better because it was raw and constantly urgent. But then I liked the self-titled EP more because of the energy and stronger vocals. This is good but a step down from the other two.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

I'ts a band on a major and my little sister can like it so I say it sucks

yeah right

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

gay

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

Decent. Nothing more, nothing less.

ElVaquero (April 27, 2004)

Decidedly meh.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

The new version of "Clockwork" is strange, it's a little slower, a little catchier, but what I hate is that they took out the awesome fade out guitar at the end.

This is a good cd. Not great, that's why I give it an 8. The ep was better from start to finish.

Jesse (April 27, 2004)

The only thing good about this band is that they used to be called Cooter. Heh, cooter.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

yeah. i agree it's over produced and i too got it for 7 bucks at best buy. the songs are not bad and very catchy.

Ramo

FortyMinutesWest (April 27, 2004)

Meh.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

good review dude.

kirbypuckett (April 27, 2004)

I'm really digging this, as I've mentioned before.

Well worth the $7 Best Buy is charging.

- Kirby

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

Score is for Bruce Springsteen and New Jersey. Fuck the rest.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

this score is for my comment, which was not supposed to be 10

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

Autopilot Off is a terrible band live.

Cooter on the other hand.......

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

first. w00t-fucking-zor.

Anonymous (April 27, 2004)

First!

Good album... but I enjoyed their EP more

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