The Automatic - Raoul

Lee Eynon 05/01/2007

Rating: 3/5

Premature ejaculation. A growing problem for bands aged 18-25…

How the hell are you meant to follow a track like Monster? From footie chants to an insane live performance on GMTV, the tune that soundtracked a hundred montages launched four kids from Cowbridge into orbit. It remains to be seen how long they can stay there though.

It was the sort of track everyone ended up singing along to - your parents, your little sister - even the Ibeefa Anfems loving chavs could enjoy it (See: Buck Rogers by Feeder). Chunky but inoffensive guitars and a big dumb, catchy chorus that was as infectious as bird flu. If only that little bloke would stop shouting, your Mum said.

Well this time around keyboard muppet Alex Pennie does manage to abstain from yapping like a pokemon with A.D.D. all over the verses, which is a relief. Instead we get a nice chunky verse leading into a slightly flat chorus, and then comes the hook. No pressure boys…

Hmm... Well... it is pretty big. I guess. But it isn't really the colossal moby dick sized hook they need to follow their summer blockbuster. Its definitely the sort of thing that you find yourself humming for hours after it comes on the radio, but it doesn't stick in the subconscious in that sweet-Jesus-get-this-fucking-thing-out-of-my-head sort of way that Monster did.

To be fair there are plenty of the great poppy harmonies which they do so well, and in places the keyboards scream mid-nineties Super Furries and Catatonia, which is generally a good thing. But any way you look at it, you can't help but feel that this track is a notch below what they achieved with that bloody song back in June.

It's also disappointing that this is a re-release, which suggests that the forward momentum is running out. 'Let's go back to work' Robin Hawkins sings over the outro - well unless you can pull another Monster out of your sleeve that may just be a possibility, which is a shame, because the Automatic certainly can write a damn fine pop song.

Release date: 8th January 2007