"Automatic Animal" (Self-Produced)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

The name Automatic Animal might sound new to you, but these veterans from the West Coast music scene (albeit under a different name) have been impressing music critics and music fans alike for many years. Automatic Animal have shed their skin and reformulated their sound to be a cross section of heavy music's history without sounding trite, overwrought, or ever losing a connection to their past.

Automatic Animal produced their self-titled debut on their own and as a result the band crafted it exactly to their liking without any undue outside influence. It's a rock record through-and-through with enough guts to revel in its own unique sound without sacrificing any integrity - there arenít any trendy songs or sounds on this disc.

So what does Automatic Animal sound like? Take the earthy strains of stoner rock (i.e. Queens Of The Stone Age, Sixty Watt Shaman), add a dash of classic metal (Black Sabbath), a sprinkle of modern metal (Tool) and you'll sort of get a little idea of what Automatic Animal get across with their hybrid strains of this metallicized rock'n'roll amalgam.

Automatic Animal isn't quite ready for radio (actually, that's unfair - radio has done enough damage to itself over the last few years to completely discredit the thought of a band like Automatic Animal getting exposure on the airwaves), probably doesn't fit nice and square with any specific music genre's 'classic' sound, and certainly doesn't play by the traditional rules of popular music. Despite all that, Automatic Animal's debut is a rousing display of the vibrancy that rock provides to the music listening public.

What I'm most impressed by on Automatic Animal's debut is that it sounds like a fully realized record. And by that I mean there isn't so much over-production to dull the edges and it isn't so raw as to lose the unique character of each song. No one song impressed me more than the others and definitely no one song was worse than any of the others - that makes listening to it all the more enjoyable due to its consistent approach.

Automatic Animal's self-titled debut is a very impressive effort. Automatic Animal should see a measure of success if they can translate their sound into a vibrant live show and word-of-mouth buzz. Without the constraints of a label the band may be poised to leverage their hard fought success on their own terms.

"Automatic Animal" was produced by Automatic Animal and Ralph Patlan.

Automatic Animal: Mat Fitzsimmons on vocals, Mike Anderson on guitars, Mason C on bass, and Steve Isle on drums.

For more information visit

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.


Back to CD Reviews Home

Back to Home

Copyright © 2003 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 07 Aug 2023 21:18:43 -0400 .