Q MagazineThe songs sizzle merrily, but the whole is less than the sum of its parts, and the relentlessness becomes wearing. [Oct 2008, p.139]
Universal acclaim- based on 10 Ratings
May 29, 2016This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. The Automatic are the only welsh band that I wish weren't on hiatus right now. This is their second album, and it's great. Every song has something different to offer, yet they all flow seamlessly into a strong collection of heavy songs that carry dance-able post-punk grooves, as well as a sense of punk urgency and excitement.
Each song is different from the previous one, but that all carry a sense of intensity to it that is uniquely possessed by The Automatic here. The vocal melodies and harmonies are catchy and great, the drums pound, the synths shine, and the riffs are on the heavy side. They're all clearly Automatic songs, no matter who's singing it, and no matter what they're singing about. And everything sounds great.
Themes regarding the fight for individualism (Accessories) and disapproval for institutions such as the government (Responsible Citizen) and the media (Magazines) ring clearly but not to the point that the listener feels like they're being spoon-fed political views. Each song has it's own story and message. Bringing in new-ish guitarist / singer Paul Mullen before this record allows for great dual guitar interplay, and songs where he takes on the lead vocal role provide great variation. The title track that he sings on gives the listener some diversity in time-signature in addition to punk-ier grooves.
Despite a few duller moment later on (didn't care for "Bad Guy" significantly) the high points carry the album solidly, and memorably. This album should've been considered one of the best albums of 2008. It certainly is the best album that critics hated that year, but now you have the chance to look back and enjoy some great, rockin' songs that should've been in your and my ears 7 years ago. This is the Pinkerton of the "Post-punk revival" period, and It's the one best fusions of post-hardcore punk and post-punk of the 2000s.… Full Review »