Give Me Head (Automatica), Bitch!
Front man and founder Daryl Palumbo calls his newest project, Head Automatica, an “electronic cock-rock band.” Certainly they seem akin to such a mesh of styles, donned as they are in pin-strip or velvet suits, with ties, sunglasses, and/or leather jackets. But Head Automatica’s look hardly outweighs their sound on their first album, Decadence.For those unfamiliar with Palumbo, he is (perhaps was, considering how seriously he speaks of Automatica) the lead singer of hardcore group Glassjaw. But if anyone is hoping for a newer take on Palumbo’s success in the hardcore scene, prepare for something entirely differentâ€šÃ„Â¶he has replaced his angst-ridden vengeful sound with catchy, poppy hooks. Palumbo utilizes his screaming talents, but only so far as to wail a “YAAAAH!” or emphasize a “Girl, you really got your hold on me.” It’s nice to hear Palumbo with a more melodic vocal sound, showing that he has singing talent, even if it is just as a cock-rocker.
Most notable is that Dan “The Automator” Nakamura (Gorillaz, Handsome Boy Modeling School) is a member/producer for Automatica, laying down beats and giving the live instruments a much-needed boost. Decadence is rife with electro-rock, that is, live instruments backed by synthesized tones and rhythms. There is a resemblance to retro seventies-era disco rock, if there ever was such a thing, but this may be due more to the rainbow neon nightclub look of the album than its sound.
On the whole, Decadence is fast, slightly furious, and in line with the whole “retro to be contemporary” feel. I’d recommend this for anyone who likes a “rock ‘n roll rules” attitude with some creative programming on the side.