I read a review of this album recently, that said Automatic Children sound like everything else that's coming out of Brooklyn these days. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Brooklyn holds all kinds of styles of bands, and though it gets pinned down as the birthplace of Grizzly Bear and TV on the Radio, musicians who are actively in the scene, know its variety.
The band- Automatic Children mixes a unique batch of influences, some might say shouldn't be mixed, others will "get it". There is an obvious blend of late 80's/early 90's Hard Rock with current Indie Rock-isms and a touch of 80's Pop sensibilities. The 80's part would be the lyrics. They are not trying to revolutionize Poetry in Rock and Roll, but leaning the other way, toward singalongs and catchy hooks. Lyrically, they are more similar to Duran Duran or The Psychedelic Furs. Musically, they're not unlike Girl/Guy groups of the 90's, like Versus or Butterglory. Imagine your favorite Indie band doing the best of Bon Jovi. That's what separates this band from the others in their category- they do what they want, without second guessing their hipster points or record store clout.
For a debut album, it represents all the qualities this band has to offer in a Pop/Punk setting with an overall production reminiscent of The Replacements. They are constantly working at finding the balance between Pop and Punk Rock.
Two notable tracks that stand out - "Coming over me" and "Be Here Now". The first song showcases both lead singers, who have very different styles. Adam- the dude, sings like a cross between Anton Newcombe and Sylvester Stallone, voicing his baritone tough-guy holler up against Crista- the girl. Crista handles the high harmonies and lead vocals with an innocence and sincerity of a true Pop star. The combination of the two work well, and I don't mean in a "Rhinestone" movie Stallone/Dolly Parton way, although I'd like to see more sequin suits in Brooklyn bands these days.
The second track noted, is "Be Here Now". First off, this is the title of a very famous Oasis song, but surprisingly brings to mind, the band- Ride, who's core member (Andy Bell) was the bass player for Oasis. Is this supposed to be a nod to the Maharishi existential quote- "Be Here Now"? Is the song intentionally rivaling Oasis, by way of The Pixies double harmonies and a gnarly bass and drum breakdown? Perhaps, they've never heard the Oasis song, or like the band for that matter. But it's hard not to compare the two.
All in all, the band passes with flying colors for a debut LP. And if you listen to an eclectic mix of music, but put the need to ROCK-OUT before anything else, give this album a listen!