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This Is A Fix

More shouty rock and party anthems from the valleys.

Rating: 2 / 10

Colm Russell, 27 Aug 2008

Wales, sometimes referred to as ‘the land of song’, produces a curiously high percentage of groups that sound like they’re from middle America. The Automatic appear to be the latest in a long line of acts hailing from the Valleys who favour Ameri-core and emo-tainted lyrics over the more imaginative and psychedelic stylings of their North Walian contemporaries.

Like Feeder and the 60ft Dolls before them, The Automatic are unlikely to win any prizes for originality. The songs follow strict formulaic patterns: short, repetitive choruses aided by immaculately distorted guitars with stadium-sized aspirations. Case in point: lead single ‘Steve McQueen’ with its three minutes of sanitised pop-metal complete with party-anthem chorus and over-egged vocal delivery.

While on the one hand taking their cues from the big, gonzo-styled pop hooks of Fall Out Boy and nicely ticking the emo box in the process, they’re also prone to making the odd concession to Britpop: The New Generation. ‘Magazine’ is their attempt at a Kasier-sized anthem while ‘This Ship’ is a reductive take on The Killers' own adopted Englishness. Yes, The Automatic want to please everyone and the net result is a muddled disparity that makes This Is A Fix seem overwhelmingly compromised.

Who knows? It might all be very exciting for 12 year-old boys who’ve outgrown Power Rangers and liked the song about the monster coming over the hill. But for everyone else, The Automatic really aren’t worth wasting their pocket money on.

Rating: 2 / 10
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The ubiquitous ‘Monster’ may have been this year’s ‘I Predict A Riot’ but you suspect that The Automatic are a little too edgy for any sort of mass consumption. It’s both their strength and their weakness. ‘Raoul’ is another edgy pop song with a huge chorus, although the high-pitched shouty bloke on keyboards can be a tad annoying. Generally a winner, though.

REVIEW: 15 Dec 2006

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