January 12, 2014

The Automaniacs - Open All Night

Open All Night
The Automaniacs

Other than the fact that I'd be mighty curious to hear what some of these musical pieces might actually sound like with vocals, the seven original tracks on this debut album by The Automaniacs, really is a feisty and somewhat invigorating musical challenge of the first degree.

I say feisty, because Open All Night appears to have disposed of most recognised parameters within the prog-rock genre - which I guess it essentially is - by way of chief Automaniac, Shaun Barry, having taken it upon himself to occasionally let rip whilst simultaneously pushing the all too staid boundaries.  

Hence the final result being both idiosyncratic and invigorating.

To be sure, Messrs. Barry (guitars, bass, keyboards and voices) and drummer Jef Browning, have herein assembled a menagerie of musical moods, soundscapes and guitarchitecture that not only kneels at the alter of ye fantabulous Pink Floyd circa Relics - opening and closing tracks 'Ocean/Daddy, It Feels Like There's Stones In My Gums' and 'John Slips Inside Jill, But It's Not Her He's Thinking Of' in particular - but also nods a surprisingly winsome wink towards a number of other seventies space meisters.

To be sure, The Automaniancs vision is a considered analysis of a pop induced sensibility drenched in former Gong and Hawkwind day-trips.  That's not to say these day-trippers only work and record within the elongated trajectory of the seventies, as the Radioheadesque 'Heart In Hand, Head In The Clouds' wholly substantiates. 

As for fans of Hank Marvin (that's right folks, you read correctly), a Shadows toon cum riff rears its all too renowned head around the 7:15 mark of 'Teapot Dream;' but this ought hardly be surprising considering the altogether, exceedingly clean Strat sound throughout the album as a whole. 

And in and of itself, this will undoubtedly inspire all disciples of Marvin and Gilmore as in Hank and Dave - thus accounting for Open All Night simply oozing with resolute panache and potential.

David Marx

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