Autoclave album cover


Dischord Records

Even a decade in, Dischord was still helping to launch the careers of future underground heroes. Mary Timony, later of Helium, Wild Flag, Ex Hex and more, and Christina Billotte, who went on to Slant 6, Quix*o*tic and Casual Dots, debuted on the label in the excellent, underrated Autoclave. The band’s two Dischord EPs, co-issued with other labels and later compiled into one release, now seem like a crystal-ball foretelling of the next decade or so of forward-thinking indie rock. Listening now you might hear the seeds of Sleater-Kinney’s spare, artful drive as well as hints of math rock’s wondrous micro-detail in the tendril-like riffs and morse-code rhythms of songs like “Go Far” and “Still Here.” The refinement and subtlety that Timony, Billotte, guitarist Nikki Chapman and drummer Mellissa Berkoff displayed here exemplified how much the label’s aesthetic had evolved since its launch.

Hank Shteamer

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