Popaganda is the second album from Head Automatica and is a step towards classic New Wave songwriting, a well-considered contrast to the bombastic dance-punk of their debut. Produced by Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance, The All-American Rejects, Santana), this record is an effective transition to a more mature style of songwriting. “Egyptian Musk” is one of the more dancefloor-ready cuts here, sequenced bass rumble, twinkling keys, and howling vocals combining to form something that scans as a mid-aughts update to Cure classic “Fire in Cairo”. “Laughing at You” is arena-filling power pop chords with a vocal line that exploits frontman Daryl Palumbo’s elastic vocal style. “Cannibal Girl” begins with dulcet strums and keys before swinging into bouncy pop-punk riffs, “She’s Not It” is a Squeeze-esque lamentation about romantic misjudgments. Out of print since its initial release in 2006, this edition is pressed on double pink with silver swirl colored vinyl and is packaged in a gatefold sleeve.
reviewed by STEPPIN' OUT 09/2019