Lennon Gallagher, the oldest son of former Oasis lead singer Liam Gallagher, has released the first EP with his band Automotion entitled In Motion.
Musically more attuned to experimental bands like Slint and Tortoise than the laddish rock of Oasis, Automotion barrel through five songs that feature nary a Beatles reference, T-Rex guitar line, or anthemic chorus between them. Instead, In Motion is a dense, sometimes brutal post-punk/post-rock/post-everything collection of distorted guitar and spoken word.
Strangely enough, the first comparison that felt apt was to modern droll masters Dry Cleaning. There’s a similar vocal cadence between Lennon Gallagher and Florence Shaw, but while Shaw ruminates on the trivial aspects of modern day life, Lennon goes more for ambiguous imagery and bizarre contrasts, like a Buñuel film in audiobook form.
The band behind him, guitarist Jesse Hitchman, drummer Otis Eatwell-Hurst and bassist Luke Chin-Joseph, create thick soundscapes of Robert Fripp-esque squeals of hair-raising guitar and pounding, driving rhythms. Hitchman gets to show off a bit on ‘Mind And Motion’, while ‘View from the Precipice’ conjures dynamic shifts out of thin air, illustrating a band with a fair amount of chemistry and mischievous spontaneity.
So that brings us to the ultimate question: is it any good? If the lead singer wasn’t the son of perhaps the most iconic lead singer in British rock, would anyone give a shit about Automotion or In Motion? Well, as a PR strategy, Lennon Gallagher’s name certainly doesn’t hurt, but it doesn’t seem like this is a band that cares all that much for PR strategy.
It’s certainly not music for the masses, but if you happen to be a fan of intricate guitar lines, a bit of sludge, monotone recitations, some great thumping rhythm section features, and a bit of math rock thrown in for good measures, there’s no reason to look at Automotion as anything but the real deal. In Motion is a fair start for a new band, and it will be interesting to see what musical avenues they decide to detour down in the future.