The Welsh outfit fail to get into gear
Long free of petulant yelper [b]Pennie[/b] and without a single [b]‘Monster’[/b] in sight, [a]The Automatic[/a] have transmogrified into a professional, mature proposition. Shorn of some sharp edges by the passage of time, that development is increasingly looking like a fun-ectomy. [b]‘Tear The Signs Down’[/b] is perfectly listenable, at times recalling MOR giants [b]Boston[/b] ([b]‘Interstate’[/b]) and gloomy ’80s popsters [b]Tears For Fears[/b] ([b]‘List’[/b]), but crucially it’s not the guilty pleasure that those reference points suggest. Tempered with modern indie-rock’s self-consciousness, the songs here lack the confidence to dive head-first into memorable bombast. It seems [a]The Automatic[/a] might have thrown out the baby with the bath water.
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