The Automatic

The Automatic

Post-Monster, and after the departure of their scream-core element, Pennie, there was a lot riding on this gig.

Date: October 4, 2008

Venue: Rescue Rooms

When a mediocre indie band enjoys unprecedented success with a song it can manifest into the proverbial albatross around the neck. ‘Monster’ was an auspicious triumph but, paradoxically, its omnipresence had a detrimental effect on the band’s career. It was so ubiquitous that its chart-aping achievements tore the band apart, with screaming keyboardist Pennie leaving due to a conflict of interests. The remaining members were compelled to rethink their sound and take an alternative route away from the pop mainstream.

Now, whilst touring new album ‘This Is A Fix’, they’ve found that sound, and it’s harder, louder and more propulsive than before, and sounds like a statement of intent. Even ‘Monster’ sounds beefier these days and their whole live output has been galvanised.

‘Raoul’ and ‘Recover’ – the other two singles from their first album – possess a mettle not witnessed before, while songs from the new record are potent forces if a little indistinguishable. Ironically it’s exactly this vigor which Pennie craved.

Despite the curtailed set they still find time for a slick cover of Usher’s ‘Love In This Club’, before ending with ‘Steve McQueen’, which actually gets a bigger response than ‘Monster’. So exactly what is that coming over the hill? Why, it’s a monster-slaying new direction that’s what.

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