Technical wizardry on keyboards and guitar, ambitious harmonies achieved by...
Al Fox 2008
Playing with rhythm, flirting with sensitive backing vocals over a background of guitar spread like chunky marmalade over the crusty toast of a supremely confident percussion and bass section; The Automatic have swaggered through This Is A Fix to come out shiny and smiling. The album is absolutely dripping with new ideas: the band's willingness to try them for size and to drop anything that doesn't immediately seem to be working means that only the cream of a very good crop of songs has made it onto the disc.
Hard-edged Welsh rockers in the tradition of Manic Street Preachers or The Alarm, the core of the Automatic goes back to childhood friendship in a small town. The trust and innate mutual understanding between the members has led to a natural, organic progression running through the bulk of the tracks gathered here; there are bursts of technical wizardry on keyboards and guitar, ambitious harmonies achieved by unexpectedly accurate boyish backing vocals and a willingness to experient with volume, pace and song structure that sets them apart from the mainstream and demands both attention and respect from the istener. Not guaranteed to float everybody's boat, nonetheless The Automatic deserves respect and attention from the open-minded listener.