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Telephone – Automatic

Eric Hedford, the original drummer for The Dandy Warhols, moved on to create a new band Telephone, debuting four years ago with the EP We are Telephone. He’s had several lineup changes during the production of their recently released, first full-length album, Automatic. Hedford may have left the Warhols ten years ago, but Telephone draws heavily from his old band’s sound.

Friends of post-punk, psychedelic, synth, and power pop rock rejoice, for you have a new album to listen to since all these descriptions fit within the 12 songs on Automatic.


While “Goodbye” is comprised mostly of synth-sounds combined with vocals delivered in the style of Ian Curtis (Joy Division) or Paul Banks (Interpol) while “Shine” has the crunchy guitar and pounding drums that characterize power pop. And “Visitor pt. 1 and 2” may begin power pop instrumentals that tails off into a swirling psychedelic guitar. You would think that this would create a fractured album, but the songs flow effortlessly into one another. Although the songs contain so many different elements, Telephone uses commonalities between each one to keep a constant thread.

The title track “Automatic” best combines the various elements with strong bass line, a catchy beat and lyrics, all offset by a wailing synthesizer, creating a well-crafted rock experience. Played live at a concert, “Automatic” is likely to induce fist pumping and head banging amongst the crowd.

Throughout the entirety of the album, Telephone comes at you with all guns blazing. There are certainly slow songs like “Falling” and “Goodbye,” but they are produced with the same “wall of sound” effect as the rest of the tracks. The band unabashedly packs as much into each song as possible.

From the start, Automatic is first-class, if a little dated. But hey, the band is fronted by a dude who has been around for at least 15 years. Besides, familiar is not necessarily a bad thing. Although Automatic stumbles a bit in the middle, but by the last half of the album you are tapping your foot and nodding in appreciation.


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