Album Review: The Automatic – ‘Tear The Signs Down’ (Armoured)

The Welsh outfit fail to get into gear

Long free of petulant yelper Pennie and without a single ‘Monster’ 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. ‘Tear The Signs Down’ is perfectly listenable, at times recalling MOR giants Boston (‘Interstate’) and gloomy ’80s popsters Tears For Fears (‘List’), 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.

Tom Edwards

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