ROCKAGANDA: Head Automatica profile

by Davey

Plugging The Best New Acts.

Head Automatica in sharp focus

It’s all very well and good claiming to be “different”, “alternative”, “quirky”. But it’s so often a lie. Truth is, “alternative” IS mainstream. Look out the window… Count the emo’s. I rest my case.

The difference with Head Automatica is, they’re pop. Pop, but not as we knew it. Pop conjures up connotations of Britney in her saucy school uniform, or practising N*Sync dance moves (ask Jet about that). Head Automatica are the personification of power pop x 5. Frontman Daryl Palumbo throws off the shackles that inevitably come with being in a “pop” band, claiming that the kids of today don’t know what the genre truly suggests. To him, pop is melodic, it’s raw, and it’s wild; not sugar-coated manufactured pretty boys and girls.

Palumbo and co dived into recording their second album, Popaganda, with their principles in the forefront of their collective minds, but were careful not to lean too closely towards their influences, for fear of being dubbed a novelty act: “I don’t like being bound by any stylistic restriction. There was a flavour I wanted to integrate into the music, but I knew we needed to put a contemporary spin on it.”

The evolution of what Head Automatica call pop is evident by the seriously sexy vintage guitar riffage that claws through their two albums; the ball-busting drumming, the epic proportions of the music. Rock fans, then, are able to embrace the band, without the derision that comes with liking a pop band. Popaganda especially, leans towards the very popular American music that’s currently huge in Britain – mixed with that poppy twist. Decadence, the previous album, is something totally different. Maybe you’ve heard ‘Beating Heart Baby’? Which is most definitely heavy pop, as with the rest of a magnificent record. Songs like ‘Solid Gold Telephone’ and ‘At The Speed Of A Yellow Bullet’ prove the band’s ties to the past, as well as their modern twist on a buried genre. The wonderfully excessive amount of electro organ oddities of sound that pierce both albums are part of what makes Head Automatica pop. The bright energy, the sheer geekiness that comes with liking this stuff, and the enormity of the glorious, glamorous impact just two little albums can have on an individual.
This music is so uncool, it’s fucking cool.

Head Automatica should be huge… Yet I’m kind of glad they’re not. Being huge makes bands change, and I wouldn’t want them to sell out. They’re too damn good for that. Still, I would highly recommend their albums, Decadence and Popaganda – especially the former.
Although, if you’re expecting a band that includes former Glassjaw frontman Palumbo to be whining angsty screamo gimps, think again. “We didn’t want to make a record about pain. We didn’t want to make a record about crying. We didn’t want to make a record about being hurt. We just wanted to make a brilliant power-pop record.”

Fuck yeah.

Head Automatica are:

Daryl Palumbo – lead vocals, guitars, and programming
Jarvis Morgan Holden – bass
Larry Gorman – drums, drums, drums and backing vocals
Craig Bonich – guitars
Jessie Nelson – organ, piano, and keys