After the brilliant debut Psychocandy, Darklands was a lethargic disappointment. 1989's Automatic erased the sophomore misstep like the perfect firewater shot, integrating drum machines and synths (in place of a bass player) and instituting a gritty swagger. "Head On(1)" was the runaway smash here, given the ultimate co-sign when The Pixies covered it on Trump Le Monde. However, it's really about the entire album, listened to from beginning to end. Initially hammered by critics (they couldn't handle the stylistic shift), Automatic has come to rival Psychocandy as the fan favorite album. 10 tracks in all (like the original vinyl version). I always wondered what drugs William Reid fed Hope Sandoval to go out with him. Recommended.
- 180 gram pressing
- music label: Plain Recordings 1989 / 2011