Auto Chlor Releases “Kid Gloves and Crystal Math”

When you think of music coming out of the state of Georgia, your mind might gravitate towards the booming hip-hop and rap scene from Atlanta, giving the masses such artists as OutKast and Migos, as well as classic acts such as TLC, REM, and the B-52s. One outlier of a band, however, hails from Athens, Georgia and they aren’t typical picks for fan-favorite single choices. Auto Chlor is a band so far removed from the idea of doing a traditional radio single that if they were ever to do one, that might be proof enough of an alien bodysnatchers-type invasion. With over a dozen LPs under the art collective’s belt since their origins in 1995, each one completed in the span of less than a single day, Auto Chlor has grown an impressive portfolio of records in their time. Now, back with two more releases under the titles Kid Gloves and Crystal Math, Auto Chlor is ready to further cement their place in the world of modern noise rock.

Starting with Kid Gloves, those new to Auto Chlor are immediately tossed into the deep end. Opening track “yaw joggle” (the titles are all formed through random word generators) is a one-and-a-half-minute mood setter, as piano chords vibrate like the surface of the water. The world of Kid Gloves is said to capture the work life of the leader of Auto Chlor xx periscope, and there is a sense of propulsion that feels like a classic workday. “melancholy trucking” feels otherworldly, almost out of the world of Hideo Kojima, and songs like “chivvy” tap into the electronic brutalist soundscape and atmosphere that, for all its overpowering qualities, still doesn’t fully take away from the album’s overall tonal balance. There’s plenty of beauty as well as chaos in the album, giving Kid Gloves a perfect pacing and ambient head on its shoulders.


Crystal Math, on the other hand, goes in a different direction — giving listeners an ABBA cover placed towards the end among mostly one-minute sound collages, Auto Chlor is on a new wavelength. The songs on Crystal Math lean heavier into the crisp, confrontational electronic side of things, with “jamb” giving listeners a real head-spinning piece of composition that feels akin to distorted police sirens put over a beat. “luxuriant coo” dips the audience into a cold, echoing chamber of eerie energy and faint sounds — it stands out as the only song on the record that is an Auto Chlor original over four minutes in length, with “fernando” in good company.

Overall, Auto Chlor is a band that feels distinct in its target demographic, but the wide variety of sounds tackled in just Kid Gloves and Crystal Math is enough to convince me to seek out their earlier efforts. There’s an almost Oneohtrix Point Never quality to a lot of what Auto Chlor is doing, and the potential for future films scored with Auto Chlor’s music could be an incredible opportunity. There aren’t many bands out there like Auto Chlor, especially coming from the same home state, and that’s what makes them that much cooler.

Gwen Waggoner