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"The Future's Bright. The Future's Autoban"

The problem with reviewing music every week is that sometimes you tend to question too hard what is good and what isn't - as if quality is something that requires an archaeological search between the lines. Well, no more - I've found my new benchmark. If bands are to be judged against the best of those they aspire to, south Dublin four-piece Autoban can hold a candle to almost anyone. In al seriousness, they have the potential to be major contenders; for a band who have only been together, they already tick an awful lot of boxes.

Without a hint of arrogance, they walk onstage looking like they're something a bit special; and from the moment Hope you never know begins, you realise it's not just the way they walk. They have no time for affected rock n' roll "cool", this isn't about hair-cuts or leather jackets for them; they simply play a brilliant selection of addictive, dancy pop songs and it's their sheer competence and confidence that makes them look good.

Laid-back frontman Darren Hardiman (all high-slung, left-hand guitar and effortless pop sensibility) is a writer of exquisite, tight, memorable songs of the type where every note has a purpose and everything superfluous is jettisoned. The band do them justice too; each beat, chord and chorus sounds marvellous and majestic, borne of timing, precision and good, old-fashioned rehearsal.

Their fusion of post-punk, post-funk and peachy pop is astonishingly moreish. Infectious funk-fest Stand Together sets the dance floor alight. By the time their penultimate track Set Me Alight ends, I want to own everything they'll ever record. This is aspirational pop perfectionism, a soulmate to Franz Ferdinand's 'guitar music to dance to' ethic. In a crowded and competitive scene, Autoban have raised the bar further.

- InDublin Magazine (By Johnnie Craig)

"Live Review"

"Well, that reaffirms the faith in the local scene" were the first words that tumbed out of mymouth post Autoban's seven stomping indie-pop tracks in Doran's last Friday. The Dublin four-piece have been something of an enigma since their moniker change ad a shy retiring from the live stage, alongside a refusal to upload any of their wares on myspace, have only added to their allure. Having irst come to our attention as Andalusia, in a support slot to then NME darlings Selfish Cunt (where are they now?) in Voodo0, their general onstage fumblings should've been enough to put us off. However, when they did manage to get it together, you couldn't help but pay attention. Darren Hardiman's voice demands it.

Now returning as an infinitely more clean-cut ensemble, his cross betweenulian Casablancas, Alex Turner and the suave crooners of yore, coupled with a serene stage presence, is a joy to witness; a fact which makes their doubt-ridden lyrics in tracks such as 'Stand Together' and 'Lowtide' that more special.

This humbleness imbued on Hardiman's creamy vocals (most notably in 'Circus of Clocks'), floating whimsically over quirky, killer riffs, cowbell smacking intros and punch drum finales, is a recipe for greatness. -

"Autoban on the road to success"

Even if singing to “one person and a cat”, Autoban frontman Darren Hardiman still believes he’d have the pre-stage gitters. However, watching the south-side four-piece perform, it is this edgy energy that is setting them apart.

Hailing from Ballyfermot, Clondalkin, Tallaght and Limerick, this musically talented and well-rehearsed quartet captivated the audience in Crawdaddy on Friday, June 27, with their dancey, gimmick-free pop tunes.

Gig-goers were unable to keep still as the lads hit them with their fast-paced, alternating style, reminiscent of The Killers, and melodic electric guitar, not too unlike early Strokes.

However, while comparisons can be drawn between new bands and old, Autoban has its own distinct sound which generates from the foursome’s diverse and experimental attitude to music. According to frontman Darren: “We’re all very much into music and wouldn’t just listen to one band or genre in particular. “If I like a song, I like a song and I believe that people should experiment with music.”

So what inspires Darren when it’s time to put pen to paper?: “Not to sound soppy but a lot our lyrics would be kind of based around love songs, they’d be classic pop lyrics. “However, they’re not to shiny and would have a sinister edge.”

Practising three times a week, Autoban are a group of lads who are in this for the music and watching them on stage, the egos and fluff which so easily can creep in on a band are nowhere to be seen; audiences aer simply given a genuinely confident and tight musical performance.

Catch Autoban in Dorans on July 25th or log on to

- Mary Dennehy (The Echo)


Limited edition Lowtide/Lions single *July 2008



Firmly rooted on the outskirts of Dublin’s city centre, Autoban have been huggin’ and kissin’ on the Irish music scene for the past 18 months. A year of obsessive writing and a series of love-hate relationships has seen the band amass a fabulous batch of ‘Dirty Dancing’ style anthems.

Fusing elements of post-punk, post-funk angular guitars with bawdy, punchy drumbeats and baselines provides the backbone for the unique vocal of laid-back frontman Darren Hardiman, who has drawn comparisons with Julian Casablancas (The Strokes) and Frank Sinatra of all people. One performance led a weak-kneed journalist to describe their sound as 'aspirational pop perfectionism, a soul mate to Franz Ferdinand's 'music to dance to' ethic.

A host of blistering live sets at Lee Sounds Unsigned, Irish Student Music Awards and IMRO Showcase Tour and an impressive catalogue of support slots including Echo and The Bunnymen, Blackwire and Mercury-nominated The Young Knives over the past 18 months, plus their recent packed-out "limited edition" single pre-launch in Dublin indicates the promise this band possess.

More of an 'og' than a 'blog' it's that short. We were Download of the Day on Tony Fenton's TODAY FM show on Friday. Here's the link:

We're just above the verve on the list... theres something not right at all about that... cheers for the support!