Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Review: Automatic Children, New is Beautiful

Automatic Children
New is Beautiful

14-year-old Fiona: A for sound, What Are Lyrics?
19-year-old Fiona: B- for sound, A for lyrics

Before handing me Automatic Children’s debut album New is Beautiful, WGTB Music Board Director Christian said this: “This record sounds pretty much just like everything coming out of Brooklyn right now. Except for the lyrics, their lyrics are actually pretty cool. There, I’ve essentially written your review for you.” Now you make the call, here’s what I’ve got on New is Beautiful:

Automatic Children sounded so familiar at first listen that I had to wonder if I’d heard them before––no, they are a little-known (at least outside of their borough) up-and-coming band out of NYC, so not that. Their music, however, plays straight up into the genre of poppy lo-fi post-punk––a genre that feels very much like home to me, after I dwelled there for much of my freshman and sophomore year of high school. If I had heard this album during that phase, it would have undoubtably, immediately become a close favorite.
Now, however, my taste seems to have mainly moved out of this genre, though I still relished the head-bop-worthy jams like “Solitude.” The band seems to do best on this song and similar high-energy rockers, and loses itself a bit on more withdrawn, female-vocal-leading tracks like “The First Time.” Their sound is essentially nothing too new or original, but they execute it perfectly fine. I found this old rating system (pictured below) from Pitchfork’s early beginnings as a website, and I’d definitely put New is Beautiful at “not brilliant, but nice enough.”
Oh, the lyrics. Automatic Children, +100 points for being clever. Lyrics is the domain in which this album shines: it is essentially the perfect blithe, caustic, sarcastic break-up album for those who don’t feel like pitying themselves. “What is it going to take your mortally inclined wooden stake to tear apart your heart?” BOOM BOOM.
-- Fiona Hanly
"Sweet N Flo," Mondays 12-1 on WGTB

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