Head Automatica


Written by: PP on 21/06/2006 19:35:04

Head Automatica is the brainchild of the (genius) Glassjaw frontman Daryl Palumbo, who has spent the recent year or two in the headlines due to his constant on/off gig schedule caused by his unfortunate Chron's Disease that hospitalizes him from time to time. Glassjaw was one of those genre-defining, seminal, pioneering bands that was almost single handedly responsible for the creation of the emo/screamo trend with their now-classic 2000 album "Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Silence", and it is still a great mystery to me why he abandoned such a prominent band in favor of his side project Head Automatica - a keyboard infused britpop/indie rock act that receives constant airplay on both sides of the Atlantic.

"Popaganda", the sophomore album from the group, starts off with the energetic "Graduation Day", a timely song for this time of the year that takes advantage of smart lyrics, semi-acoustic guitars and chilled out drumming to set the happy, summer-like mood for the rest of the album. "Lying Through Your Teeth" continues on the same line, showcasing the great singing talent Daryl possesses - he uses his vocal versatility to deliver pure punkpop/powerpop perfection, while on "Oxy Contin" his voice slowly goes up and down scales, much like on some of the material on Glassjaw's sophomore effort "Worship & Tribute". This, however, is also the major problem with all material Head Automatica produces: it may be alright as it is, and Daryl's singing talent is obvious, but you just can't help but think how much better he sounded in Glassjaw, how his desperate screams gave the band a unique face, and inspired countless bands today. Sure, "God" and "Laughing At You" are great songs, but for any Glassjaw fan, they are a huge let down as they will be fully aware of the awesome talent that Daryl possesses in terms of creating the emo/screamo Godhood with his now shadowed band Glassjaw.

Many of the old Glassjaw/Daryl fans will never forgive the move to Head Automatica, especially because their indie rock/britpop combo is mediocre at its best and pales in comparison with the likes of Mae, Say Anything or even Nightmare Of You. But if you don't mind music that's written with the radio in the subconscious mind, then Head Automatica's second album "Popaganda" will surely please you with its predictable melody, vocal patterns and simple riffs. If, however, you are looking for something inspiring, you should just turn back to the Glassjaw records and forget that Head Automatica ever existed.


Download: Graduation Day, Lying Through Your Teeth
For the fans of: Say Anything, Nightmare Of You, Bloc Party
Listen: Myspace

Release date 06.06.2006
Warner/Cardboard City

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