As the genre name implies, your typical shoegaze band of the late ’80s or early ’90s wasn’t particularly fond of frenetic live performances. That isn’t to say, however, that those bands were big on restraint, either. Despite the fact that many shoegaze bands spent plenty of time staring at their feet like a bunch of sad sacks on stage, the music itself was usually an unbridled cacophony of distortion, reverb, and other guitar effects—creating the “wall of sound” that was the genre’s most distinguishing characteristic.
Close to 20 years after the musical movement hit its high point, Los Angeles’ Autolux has shown that a little restraint goes a long way in terms of breathing life into the genre. Transit Transit—the trio’s follow-up to its 2004 debut, Future Perfect—finds Eugene Goreshter, Greg Edwards, and Carla Azar reigning themselves in, the result of which is a more consistent (if less uptempo) sophomore effort. The one-two punch of the opening title track and the equally laid-back “Census” set up an album that won’t reinvent shoegaze, but will have fans of the genre looking up for a change. Autolux performs with This Will Destroy You at Johnny Brenda’s; the show begins at 9 p.m. and tickets are $13.