Named after a song by The Go-Go’s, Automatic are an all female post-punk trio who channel their shared devotion for 80s-era new wave into a sound that draws on the raw, hissy feel of cassette-recorded demos and the urgency of punk, but with a tendency toward exuberantly soulful hooks. Comprised of Izzy Glaudini (synths, lead vocals), Lola Dompé (drums, vocals), and Halle Saxon-Gaines (bass), the trio have made a name for themselves by blending dark wave, new wave, post punk, and electronic into a nostalgic and incredibly fun sound.
Excess is Automatic’s second album and a post-punk journey into foundations. The album is constructed with the wild abandon of Gang Of Four, shot through with the beauty of Orchestral Manoeuvres In The Dark, and never once forgetting the brand of vibrant life that The Go Go’s always delivered.
Combining a wide range of styles, Excess takes you on a journey down memory lane that sees Automatic shifting into high gear to explore the outer reaches of genre boundaries. Across 10 tracks, the band utilizes several different types of tempo and composition to make their point: sometimes it’s a buoyant, sleazy slow-burn (“Turn Away”); other times it’s an angular frenzy (“Teen Beat”); at yet other times it’s an intensely emotional rush of nostalgia (“NRG”).
The whole album is dripping with an irrefutable essence that absolutely rips from start to finish. Automatic have laid this album down in a crushing surge of sound. Maliciously catchy bass lines, driving synths and drums combine to create a full sound that simply doesn’t seem possible for only a trio. The music is pure bombast: loud synths, wailing vocals, and propulsive basslines.
But despite its stacked textures and layered structures, this isn’t some imitation or pastiche to a distant scene. Borrowing from Krautrock, disco, and synthpop, Automatic bridge past and present to form a danceable fusion from one genre to the next. Automatic are that rarest of things: a band that not only understand the great punk rock tradition, but do their best to revive its heritage.