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Autogramm | What R U Waiting 4?

Everything old is new wave again to this Vancouver power-pop trio.

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Musical genres come and go. In fact, some come and go more than once. Anyone who lived through the relentless and brutal ska resurgences of our recent past can attest to that. But weirdly enough, at a time when virtually everything old is new again, new wave is one thing that remains permanently old. Ditto power-pop. There has to be a good reason for that — I suspect it has something to do with shoulder pads, parachute suits and skinny checked ties. But whatever the reason, no cool band these days would be caught dead trafficking in these dated sounds. Except, of course, for all-star Vancouver trio Autogramm. Singer-guitarist and synth player Jiffy Marx, bassist C.C. Voltage and drummer The Silo — whose various resumes include Jerk With a Bomb, The Spitfires, Blood Meridian, Lightning Dust, Hard Drugs, Black Halos, Black Rice and Black Mountain — not only embrace both genres with respect and authenticity; they also combine them into a surprisingly effective hybrid on their debut full-length What R U Waiting 4? If you can, imagine a band capable of fusing the whistling synth melodies of The Cars, the jittery angst and spud-thwack of Devo, the yelpy vocal paranoia of Gary Numan, the post-punk propulsion of Blondie, and the choppy guitars and jangle-tones of the Shoes, Records and Plimsouls, not to mention most of the Beserkley and Bomp! rosters. If you can’t imagine all that, don’t sweat it; you really don’t have to. You just have to check out this blast-from-the-past batch of crunchy nuggets and short-fused firecrackers. But don’t blame me if you suddenly develop the irresistible urge to sport shoulder pads, a parachute suit and a skinny checked tie.