With opening track “Too Much Money,” the theme of thumping bass lines and the pristine instrumentation is here. Automatic does their dirt with the vocals where Glaudini on the vocals and synth explain, “say hello when you weren’t there, you should get off of the dirt on your feet.” With highlights stemming back to the works of dream-sequences in a David-Lynch film, Signal relies heavily on the cast of each member to boost the other up. It is a push toward ambiguity, without losing the listener in the fog.
The overarching sound of 80’s pop-synth work is littered all around Automatic’s performance throughout the record, almost moving alongside the instrumental with ease at points. When they are grooving together and orchestrating these vital components together, it is exciting and sculpts moments of pure power. Even on standout sludge tracks like “Humanoid” where the indirect touch of distant synth is warranted, Automatic still pushes some sense of subtly toward the listener. One of the isolated tracks for the record, “Humanoid” has this slumber bass that coincides within the harsh, but friendly wave that flows in and wanes out.
This is the soaring moments of Signal where the band can generate walls of intentional sound. The dead vocals pan out and illustrate variety with Automatic’s range even if most of the record flows as one continuous piece that blends together. Samples are always a way to form a connection between the audience and the artist and the way that Automatic uses this vintage sharpshooter pistol on the self-titled track “Signal” creates smiles from the crowd. Not only is the track a quick jump through electronic hoops, but the drums on this track are the star player.
The kit that Lola Dompé pounces on has authentic cymbals that shine alongside the artificial drum heads and it is a unique take on style. The innovation is bright but never forces the comfort zone on fire as Automatic has this formation behind their sound. Creeping up on the half-hour mark, Signal is less of a rabid animal and more of a domesticated work that is approachable and never stands too far away to be a dim-light and unrecognizable. Automatic is easy-going and ultimately pulsing toward a systematic ride with the shoulders of bass-heavy breakdowns.