Adventurous indie rockers Autobody formed in Brooklyn in 1995, taking their cue from the warped, lo-fi artiness of bands like Pavement and Thinking Fellers Union Local 282, as well as rock avant-gardists from Captain Beefheart to the Residents to Sonic Youth.
Founder Nicolas Chaikin first recruited multi-instrumentalists Jim Abramson (guitar, bass, vocals) and David Abel (bass, guitar, trombone, tapes, vocals), but departed quickly to move to France with his girlfriend. Autobody carried on with two more members, Sheila McCarthy (drums, tapes, vocals, keyboards) and Eric Marc Cohen (drums, vocals, trumpet, tapes). All four members were active in other bands: Abramson and Abel played together in Fly Ashtray and the Wharton Tiers Ensemble, while Abramson also drummed for Dymaxion. McCarthy was a veteran of Cattle Prod, and would go on to found the percussion ensemble Drumhead, with whom Cohen sometimes gigged. Autobody debuted on record in 1997 with the Black Angus EP, issued on the Haunted Toast label. Their first full-length, Vanilla Impressions, followed later in the year. A move to the better-distributed Silly Bird label preceded their second album, 1999's Autobody. Confusingly, it was followed by another eponymous release -- this time a five-song EP -- on the Old Gold label in 2001. Their third album, Xelp, was released on CD-R only, and was accompanied by a CD-R collection of outtakes titled Black Angus, Vol. II. ~ Steve Huey, Rovi