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Album Reviews

This Is A Fix - The Automatic The AutomaticThis Is A Fix

B-Unique

When keyboardist Alex Pennie left The Automatic and was promptly replaced by former Yourcodenameis:milo frontman Paul Mullen, it was a move that could easily have confused a few people. However, with a few listens to new album This Is A Fix, it might all start to make sense, as the Cowbridge four-piece roar back with an album as adventurous and occasionally as impenetrable as any of YCNI:M's work.

While the opening one-two punch of 'Responsible Citizen' and 'Steve McQueen' are pretty much what we'd expect from The Automatic, it doesn't take long before they start throwing some curveballs. 'Magazines' and 'This Ship' both travel into previously uncharted post-rock territory, before the shapeshifting drone of the title track provides the only failed experiment so far.

While they've done well in attempting to advance their sound beyond the obvious, there might just be a little too much here in the way of heavy rock meandering to keep a casual fan on board. Indeed, as the album nears its end, 'Secret Police' provides laid-back, accessible respite before 'Make the Mistakes' plunges headlong back into angular indie.

Overall, in a time when the forerunners on the indie scene spend most of their time diligently retreading old ground, The Automatic should be commended for trying to break from the norm. It's by no means a masterpiece, but there's more to This Is A Fix than most of us could ever have expected.

Rating: 3/5 by Mitch Bain

Tracklisting

  1. Responsible Citizen
  2. Steve McQueen
  3. Accessories
  4. Magazines
  5. This Ship
  6. In The Mountains
  7. This Is A Fix
  8. Bad Guy
  9. Sleepwalking
  10. Secret Police
  11. Make The Mistakes
  12. Light Entertainment

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