A Study In Her

(Honest In Secret 2003)A Study In Her - Auto-Amputation

Each track on A Study In Her's "Auto-Amputation" is like a grab bag. From the vocals (which are performed by both men and women) to the mood (upbeat or gentle) to the style (indie rock or electronic rock), you do not know what to expect on the next song.

With a light and poppy indie rock sound, "Bodies and Bodies" opens the album and is a song by A Study In Her mastermind Constantine Valenzuela Nakassis. Following the gentle first track, "Giant Robot" jerks you awake with its aggressive style of electronic twinkling and rapid programmed drumbeats. The chance in pace was momentary, at least, as "It's All Alright" and "The Tension of Non-touching" returning to the gentle guitar rock sound. Relying again on fast drumbeats which slow for vocals, "Hybrid Energy" has a fuzzy and spacey sound that is mixes the indie rock with electronic.

Engaging and catchy "Stuttering and Simply Stopping" is a mid tempo guitar rock driven song with melodic vocals. Using programmed drumbeats heavily, "XL" is the album's most electronic-oriented song with vocal mixing. The song is catchy and infectious with its danceable rhythm and memorable lyrics like "We know what the people are talking about, singing about, shouting about." "He Will Write the Histories of Estrangement" has an upbeat poppy sound while the stripped down "Instruction From Her Hero, a Young Woman on Guitar" focuses on wonderfully melodic female vocals. More straightforward electronic and relying heavily on scratching and mixing "An Outline of an Order (44+60 Redux)" offers an interesting and unique interlude while "Unhindered and Unhinged" has a surprisingly feel good sound about it with an upbeat and poppy melody and fuzzy guitars. "Auto-Amputation" closes, somewhat surprisingly, with an eerie but serious sounding instrumental.

A Study In Her's album has a variety of sounds and songs, from gentle and poppy indie rock to quick paced dance. The variety is sometimes too much and the tracks make little sense in the way they are organized; perhaps two separate EPs would have been better. With that said, the range of sounds and emotions conveyed on the album has a flexible appeal. "Auto-Amputation" is not, necessarily, an album you have to be in the mood for; the mood of the songs finds you.