When searching Daryl Palumbo's name on Wikipedia - a great tool to prolong pointless Internet usage - an interesting passage appears under the trivia headline: "Palumbo is an avid fan of 80's British band Squeeze and the Godzilla universe. He is considered an anglophile." After reading this last line it seems the direction Head Automatica took with Popaganda makes perfect sense. The mod logo, the suits; it all became clear finally.
Being a fan of almost anything Dan the Automator touches (Deltron 3030, Dr. Octagon, etc.) I just short of shit myself when I found out he would be doing a project with the former - well on hiatus, bands don't break up anymore - Glassjaw vocalist. Thanks, but really no thanks, to the Internet I was able to get the album almost four months before its actual release. I loved this disc. It was filled with melancholic pop songs with solid production. However, when the album was officially released I was dismayed to find out that many of my favorite tracks, most notably ones without "live instruments" were removed. Replacing them were tracks like "Beating Heart Baby", a decent tune that, when played live, translates better due to its actual instrumentation.
With Popaganda, Palumbo and his band - Automator now absent - set out to make a power pop album. And that they did; a damn good one too. While the songs are catchy as all hell, I just can't bring myself to enjoy them, knowing what kind of potential Head Automatica had as a dance band. I love pop and I am not ashamed to admit it, but with the resurgence of so many other bands doing this sound right now, I was really hoping this album would stick with the hip-hop leanings that we heard on Decadance. Drawing influence from Brit-pop, the songs are reminiscent of modern groups such as Nightmare of You - what's with these all these Long Island groups doing the Brit thing? One enjoyable aspect of this record is that despite the obvious British influence Palumbo never attempts an Ian Curtis/Morrissey type vocal range like many other newer bands harping on that style. Still this is not enough to make the disc memorable.
Hopefully something will soon surface from Palumbo's other project, House of Blow; supposedly a more "electronic" group. If I am lucky this means a more hip-hop based production where he can flaunt the true dynamic range of his vocals with a solid beat to back it.
5.0 / 10
Posted May 29, 2009, 11:23 a.m.
Head Automatica have completed work on their follow-up to Popaganda. The new album is titled Swan Damage.
Posted Dec. 25, 2008, 1:13 p.m.
Head Automatica recently found themselves to be guests on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. But rather than appear as a musical guest, the band took part in the popular ...
Posted Dec. 16, 2006, 12:32 p.m.
In a recent interview with MTV, Glassjaw and Head Automatica frontman Daryl Palumbo discussed both bands plans for 2007. Among the details he revealed were that both bands will be ...
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