When the Auteurs released their debut album in 1993, the British press linked them with the massively popular Suede as part of a "glam revival." While the band could blast out guitar-drenched rockers like Suede, the Auteurs came to life when they drew from the quiet side of such distinctively English guitar pop bands like the Kinks, the Smiths, and George Harrison. Luke Haines, the group's guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter, wrote highly melodic pop songs that combined the airy melodies of Harrison with the cutting social observations of Davies; they were sharp, intelligent songs, full of humor and gorgeous melancholy, even when loudly rocking. With their first two albums, New Wave and Now I'm a Cowboy, they earned a devoted cult in the U.K. without gathering much support in the United States. By the time the group released the Steve Albini-produced After Murder Park in early 1996, they had even lost most of their cult audience in the U.K. Accordingly, the album was a stiff, even on the indie charts. Before its release, Haines had dropped hints in interviews that the record might be the Auteurs' last. Six months later, he released an album with his side project, Baader Meinhof, although a new Auteurs record, How I Learned to Love the Bootboys, also appeared in 1999. Haines focused his energy on Black Box Recorder for a few years, released a pair of solo albums in 2001, and re-recorded several Auteurs songs with an orchestra for 2003's Das Capital. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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