Autopilot shows us the unknown known

Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed is like your neighbours – you think you know them until you realise, you really don’t. Review of an exciting LP of the autumn.


Autopilot – Köge, Balzás Farkas, Zsolt Magda Zsolt and Márton Rátkai (from left to right) at the ‘late’ GMK Club /// Photo by Lajos Somogyi / Bands Through the Lens


‘Meze’ is an interesting serving mode in the Eastern-Mediterranian cultural space which is very practical if one has a bigger dinner with a larger group. You put a million type of food on the table. Meat from lamb to chicken, sauces, dips, vegetables and all kinds of sides from home-made bread to potato. I’ve met with this practice in Cyprus and Greece but it’s also very popular in the Balcan, Turkey and in the arab region, originated in Persia. The main point is that many of us come together, we each try a bit of everything, have a couple of drinks, chat with the others and have an amazing time! Eastern tapas & world peace!


Before anyone would think that I’ve gone crazy, or that I’m trying to start a gastro-blog, don’t worry, it’s not the case. The reason for this exposition is that this is what the new album of Autopilot made me think about. Half the Pressure, Twice the Speed is like the neighbour who you spot in the crowd, saying, ‘I know that guy’ but you don’t know where from. You take a closer look and say ‘Oh yeah, that’s him!’ Then after a while you realise that you don’t actually know them, you are merely familiar with the idea of them.


Autopilot brings us ten tracks and although the album is a new thing in itself, I nearly said ‘Oh heck, I’ve already heard this!’ It’s a journey. It starts, places you on a wave and then puts you down on the beach. Still, you constantly think about where have you heard it before.


Then three names kicked in: Pink Floyd, Thirty Seconds to Mars and Metallica. This is of course not a comparison. Nor does it mean that the music is full of recycled motives. Or that it’s an epygon. No! It’s only that emotionally and atmospherically in certain moments I was feeling the same emotions that I usually do while listening to the trio listed above. Before anyone would exile me to the dark side of the moon to mine some stone, I have to underline this again: Autopilot is not like Pink Floyd, not like Thirty Seconds to Mars and definitely nothing like Metallica! What I’m trying to say is that the album evokes emotions which are familiar. And this – no matter where they come from – is a pleasant feeling.



It makes you feel safe when listening to the intro (entitled Stratos) you cry out loud, saying ‘Wow, that’s just like Pink Floyd’s last peace in the 1987 A Momentary Lapse of Reason!’(if you often cry out like this). They don’t quite do the same thing but you’ll get goosebumps when the realisation hits in.


Then there is Diamond Eyes, which, if only for a moment (makes you think of Jared Leto), gives a certain airy quality to everything which is stunning. Station rock at it’s best, Rock am Ring style.


In the chorus of These Waves Never Break I remember ‘James daddy’, as he was standing a long way away from me around 1988, trying to prepare for an acapella.


Although all three comparisons are illusions, it’s like when you catch your favourite smell walking down the street. It’s the small things. The guys bring their own riffs, their own atmosphere, which might call back to different feelings for everyone.


A short note on the singer: the new singer, Balázs Farkas from The Royal Freak Out joined the band this spring and brought in a completely new approach. They stayed with a certain rough feeling but everything is on a higher pitch now. You could hear the same on Practices for Slowing Down Time as well (their EP), because Balázs was singing on two of the songs, leaving the remaining two for the previous singer, Köge.


I have to emphasise, we are good friends with Balázs (yep, that’s nepotism). We talk a lot and previously I was blaming him a lot, saying that he is not doing anything special. He’s got a good voice but some pepper wouldn’t hurt. In this album, he got a fistful of pepper, as if all the hours of practice and the third X closing in really motivated him. I was asking for it and finally, I got it! This is it! If I was in his other band, The Royal Freak Out, I wouldn’t leave him alone until he brings the same quality to them as well.


Only one question is left: what is that song with Hungarian lyrics at the end? It’s an interesting experiment, especially as I haven’t heard Mr Farkas singing in Hungarian. Do I like it? It’s weird. As I’m listening to it more and more, it slowly grows on me. Although it is true that this can be sung in concerts!


You’ll have the chance to try it out yourself! Autopilot concert, 30 September, Saturday in Dürer Kert. Check out what they know on the stage! See you there!


EDITED by Károly Gergely


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Balogh Roland