Sunday, May 31, 2009
From the ashes of Huntsville’s least understood, but most notable nerd-punk band Themack, rose singer/songwriter/guitarist Jack Themack (aka Jack Renuzit, now Jack Saturn) and his then new ensemble Thee Autobots. While Themack always seemed like they just wanted to rock out while coming off as misfits by default, Thee Autobots took every opportunity to stand out, even adding a saxophone player to the mix. The pop cultures references didn't stop with the Transformers-inspired name, with Jack and Co. cramming ironic, dated hip hop references, tongue-in-cheek odes to heavy metal, admiration for 80s breakdancing, and goofy samples in every open space.
The result is an eclectic pop-flavored collection of catchy heartfelt punk songs that takes me back to a time before “pop punk” was synonymous with whiny bullshit. Each cover was originally black & white with the Autobots logo hand-colored red.
Thee Autobots lasted little more than a year, and allegedly have at least 16 other songs released elsewhere or not at all, which Jack has been promising to put out for a few years now. Maybe this post will increase the demand? Jack lives in Portland now and is involved with such projects as Natural Bridges and The Online Romance. Bassist Doug Lehman moved to Nashville in the mid 90s and plays in the signficantly known garage rock band The Clutters. Their drummer Solomon still lives in Huntsville last I checked, playing in a rootsy bar band called The Cracker Jacks.