September 13, 2006
The Automatic: Recover
One-trick pony, eh? Check this out for dressage
What’s that coming over the hill? It’s The Automatic, Benzedrine-fuelled punk pixies with the sort of energy reserves that could reverse a Californian black-out, if only we could herd them on to this man-sized hamster wheel before they scurry off to enjoy some other larks, such as pulling silly faces or jumping off high things for the benefit of photographers. Oh, they’d be the most loveable scamps in pop, The Automatic, if it wasn’t for the fact that calling a band ‘loveable scamps’ suggests they’re jolly good at getting the beers in, but somewhat less adept at writing cast-iron pop juggernauts that reduce all before them to twisted, smoking wreckage. Songs, for instance, like ‘Recover’. Oh, sure, what it does is not so original – a web of polished-up buzzsaw guitars, simmering acid keyboards, parrot-squawk backing vocals (thanks, Pennie) and fidgety, adrenaline-wracked teenage energy that the more mature among us will no doubt delight in dating to a thousand past reference points, as if that makes any difference in the here and now. Immediacy: that’s the message of ‘Recover’, a jump-up, seize-the-day spirit that reminds you that youth will always prevail over cynicism, the dancefloor always welcomes brave souls primed for triumph or tragedy, and there’s still something special about the sound of a sparingly-tapped cowbell. In short: get up. Recover. ’Cos you’ll never dance again.
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