Review of The Automatic's album 'This Is A Fix' released through B-Unique.
Whilst it would be unfair to brand this Welsh outfit as one-hit wonders, the stand-out success of their "Monster" single was clearly the driving force to their debut album "Not Accepted Anyway" hitting the top 3 of the charts. Since then they've lost the yelping vocals of former keyboard player Alex Pennie and replaced him Paul Mullen, also of yourcodenameis:milo.
Having had their aforementioned hit single hijacked into a terrace anthem, The Automatic are perhaps viewed as something of a novelty. With this mind, the pop-rock that characterised the likes of "Recover" has been shunted in favour of a distinctly heavier and more focused sound. "Responsible Citizen" is a dynamic introduction laced with attitude, while "Secret Police" has a classic feel completed by background harmonies. Rising from a tentative start, "Accessories" broods with aggression and you soon realise that only the upcoming single, "Steve McQueen", shares the same type of anthemic chorus that has previously brought the band success.
Casting their net further than would have been expected actually sees The Automatic producing their best results. Dropping the tempo to a medium pace, "Magazines" is a charming offering with a slick groove, while "Make The Mistakes" has a breezy tone before coming to life with a tempo change. Certainly there is nothing here which will be anywhere near as prolific as "Monster" at uniting the masses, but that may be the trade that has to be made in order to establish themselves as a serious rock act - and this is a decent start to doing that.