The Automatic Process The Automatic Process


Home Video Home VideoThe Automatic Process

6.1 / 10


Months after the Y2K effect that filled sensationalist covers and presaged the Apocalypse —that is to say, that humanity would end up being oppressed by artificial intelligence due to a fault in the storage of dates because of dodgy software— an album shook the comfortable nature of the rock scene. “Kid A” (Radiohead), which used electronic music with passion and soul, came to be a point of reference, imitated by many other bands. It was an album that, besides setting itself apart vehemently from its authors’ previous work, also showed that the classic formation of a rock band could morph technologically without losing its proximity or warmth. The American group Home Video, discovered by Warp in 2004 having just landed in Brooklyn, had learned the lesson well in their native New Orleans. Two years after their founding, they showed their first fruits on “No Certain Night or Morning”, an album that joined the prolific ranks of indie-tronic production. And since then, except for the EP “It Will Be OK”, which they released themselves in 2009, Collin Ruffino and David Gross have remained silent, preparing to give birth to this, “The Automatic Process”, in which one doesn’t see significant differences from their debut: it’s a new album in which they remain in search of their true identity.

“Accomplished But Dead”, the first song on the album, might lead us to the precipitated conclusion that we have found ourselves faced with a bastard son of Radiohead. In fact, Ruffino’s vocal register, very close to that of Thom Yorke, might be seen as a dead weight that harms the band’s personality. But if we set this idea aside, then maybe we will be able to come to enjoy a work in which there are no fatuous pretensions, and which must be enjoyed privately (it is not at all intended for the dance floor). The cuts are armed mainly with the accompaniment of a piano that sounds fairly sugary –“Business Transaction” is too-obviously inspired by “Pyramid Song”, and “An Accident” might remind one of The Knife with those icy beats– “The Automatic Process” truly gains a great deal only in those moments when it distances itself from an excessive obsession with Radiohead. That is precisely what happens in “I Can Make You Feel It” (a song in the image and likeness of Delphic), the album’s title song, and especially in “Every Love that Ever Was”. This last piece, although it formed a part of the previous EP, is the album’s immaculate pearl: the chorus and the synthesiser arrangement border on being epic and remind one of the golden age of new wave. Without a doubt, it is much better than the rest of the songs.

The melodies are assembled correctly, and are capable of taking you somewhere else, but the duo’s talents as writers and Ruffino’s vocal effectiveness could be greatly improved. I don’t mean to beat the subject to death, but Yorke and company could have made these songs into 24-carat gold. After four years away from the spotlights, one expected that Home Video wouldn’t settle for continuing in the same line as their debut, and that they would try to distance themselves from the burden of being similar to one of the greatest sacred cows in the music of recent decades. They are more than capable of achieving this goal and showing us this in the future.

Sergio del Amo{youtube width="100%" height=273"}YVRddVMZ2Qg{/youtube}

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