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9/10

The Automatic - Tear The Signs Down

Tim Newbound
Tim Newbound 5 March at 14.00
The Automatic - Tear The Signs Down Cover

The Automatic have retained their affection for punchy anthems...

It says a lot about The Automatic’s confidence in their third album that they’re prepared to kick it off with ‘Insides’. It’s a great song, but only really explodes into its anthemic brilliance around the three-minute mark. As a statement of intent, it certainly underlines that there’s much more to the quartet these days than delivering indie-pop hits. That’s not to say that ‘Tear The Signs Down’ is a dramatic departure from their first two records; anyone who’s heard lead single ‘Interstate’ will know that The Automatic have retained their affection for punchy anthems. They’ve clearly developed as musicians, though, as evidenced in songs such as ‘List’ and ‘Sweat Heat Noise’, which meld an indie-rock style of songwriting to a soulful, impassioned sensibility that’s equally impressive and touching. Elsewhere the vocal harmonising and impressive melodies of ‘High Time’ and the balance between pop urgency and powerful, innovative rock musicianship of ‘Race To The Heart Of The Sun’ underline just how far The Automatic have come. It would be savagely ironic if this band’s career faltered at this point, following their split with B-Unique Records; ‘Tear The Signs Down’ will surely stand out as one of the finest British records of the year.

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