The Automatic – Tear The Signs Down

Posted on February 18, 2010

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Speaking to The Automatic just after the release of their This Is A Fix album I was left with the impression that the harder elements of that album represented the ‘real’ them and that they would continue in that vein. Despite a reasonably successful lead single and a sound that endeared itself to some of the more cynical critics out there it didn’t sell terribly well and failed to replicate the phenomenon of Monster. It’s understandable (albeit disappointing) then that instead of striking out as a hard rock band they’ve tried to find an acceptable middle ground.

A lot of the time it works, with tracks like Cannot Be Saved and Can I Take You Home fizzing along nicely, whereas first single Interstate suffers by trying too hard to include as many popular elements as possible (the “na na naaa” refrain for example.) Interestingly, The Automatic openly pay homage to their influences for the first time with Sweat Heat Noise ‘s melody and vocal harmony sounding so very much like the Manic Street Preachers, whilst Something Else sees them channelling Placebo.

Tear The Signs Down isn’t a bad album, it just lacks ambition and plays a bit too safe. Ultimately only time will tell if The Automatic have made the right decision musically.

3/5

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