1991 - 2001

by AUTOMATICS

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about

Double LP [Limited Edition] **Includes a free digital MP3 download [320 kbps] | On sale clicking here: bit.ly/GL8AO6 / Digital Album

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“1991-2001” is a 20-song compilation – of which two songs are completely new and were just recently recorded – that sums up the 10-year span of AUTOMATICS’ existence.

That is, this is a summary of one of the most important independent Spanish pop groups of the 90s. Clifford Records, our friend Laureano’s label, is in charge of the release of this double-vinyl, 500-copy limited edition that is simply a sonic artifact.

This will not be the only time we collaborate with Clifford Records; there will be more compilations and re-releases, but we can talk about that later on. For now, we want to talk about AUTOMATICS, who split up in August 2001 after releasing a wonderful CD-Single with three songs produced by Carlos Hernández and with the vocal collaboration of LOS PLANETAS’ J. The single foretold a powerful fourth album that they ultimately never recorded, leaving the demos for those songs lost in a box.

AUTOMATICS had such an impressive live show and they showed it off again and again in all the most important festivals in our country. There were stellar moments, like at Adrenalin Village in London with nine other European groups for the MTV Eurobaschhh competition, which was broadcast via internet all around the world and where the group proved themselves to be on the same level as the nine best European groups. The following year they would be the only Spanish representatives in the prestigious French festival “Les Eurockeennes” in Belfort, where they played for more than 90,000 people and shared a line-up with GARBAGE, JON SPENCER, PULP, and PORTISHEAD.

Guillermo Z. del Águila, journalist and collaborator at RockDeLux, Efeeme, and many other places, was really close to the group at its beginnings as well as through their evolution. In the following text, he explains some of the keys to understanding this album, the songs, and the universe that surrounded the AUTOMATICS.

Writing by Guillermo Z del Águila

After listening to this double-LP several times, I can’t stop asking myself how it’s possible that AUTOMATICS aren’t much more well-known. I think it’s incredible that they aren’t unanimously cited as one of the high-points of national indie music from the 90s.

Maybe it’s because they were never very accommodating with their record labels or their promoters, not even with other bands. They refused to play the game and it seemed like that “scene” wasn’t their thing. They had a lot of influences in common with the majority of the Spanish bands that popped up like mushrooms at the beginning of the 90s (what an impeccable version they did of SPACEMEN 3’s “Revolution”), but something makes AUTOMATICS stand out from the rest. To begin with, they weren’t polite, middle-class indie musicians. The small-town and almost hooligan-like hedonism of the younger members of the group – ironically, much closer to the real personality of THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN, NEW ORDER, THE STONE ROSES, OASIS, and the majority of the British bands – wasn’t common here. It’s true that the other members of the group were more artistic and intellectual, but they came from the previous generation (PRECEPTOS DEVOTOS released their Maxi-single in ’85) and their skepticism kept them away from the indie posturing.

If you really think about it, you have to admit that their artistic concept was definitely radical, even brushing on self-destruction and self-sabotage. Superficially, because they refused to take themselves too seriously, with that pose that parodied the arrogance of the pop stars. And they did it all with such a wonderfully twisted sense of humor that almost no one realized it was a cover-up for their shyness and self-deprecation. And on a deeper level, because they were so adamant about recording songs without defined lyrics, above all when they had sublime choruses that could have been turned into hymns. It was a kind of universal abstraction: the melody is the message and the feeling; all of us begin by listening to music and singing along to hymns with phonetic approximations of the lyrics without really knowing what they’re saying.

The best part was their harmonic, melodic, and sonic brilliance. Because, although it’s true that their musical language was far from original, it’s also true even if they weren’t the only ones they were definitely the best. AUTOMATICS were always the ones who were able to achieve the best sound in those precarious live shows, and that caused for a lot of jealousy. They were the best at recreating sounds, like those incendiary guitars of TEENAGE FANCLUB (“Sixty”) and, of course, the electric and rhythmic detonations of THE JESUS & MARY CHAIN, whose legacy they were trying to carry on after the release of “Automatic” (“To Be Alive” was colored in with a Hammond and “French Boyfriend” was blown up with pop melodies). One of the things they really got right was finding the poppiest point in the intersection between them and grunge (“Emilio”, “Fraguel Rock”, “Suicide”…). But they soon began to go far beyond that. They just as easily captured the Madchester sound (“Swayfest”) as they did the most canonical indie sound with a 12-string Rickenbacker (“She Used To Make Me Smile”), or even kraut-pop (“Sputnik Was Sent Into Space Over 30 Years Ago, In 1957”). By the end of their career they were moving towards an extraordinarily electro-acoustic maturity with more harmonies than noise (“Big Lies Under A Summer Rain (Wilson Love Me)” and “An Empty Page”). They were occasionally accused of having a derivative sound, but it’s difficult to find these melodic traces, which are all over the discographies of other, much more respected groups who belonged to the same factory of catchy choruses as AUTOMATICS. The infectious “Electric Captain” is one of the best national noise-pop songs; the precious “Lone” is an excellent song that transcends genres (that is the very definition of a classic). They were able to produce authentic hymns, exploding guitar-pop’s contagious euphoria (“Watch Over You”, “Between Two Stars”), even taking J&MC’s automatic rhythms to melodic ecstasy (“Psychof*.Bak”, “Pop Star”). Their repertoire is extraordinary. As is usually the case with compilations, some things were left out (there are still some gems in their discography), but there are two new songs in their place: “Black Beach” and “Hello, Goodbye”. The first one brings their classic post-marychain sound up to date, a full-on guitar attack with lazy, reverbed vocals and a melodically genius structure. The second is a pop capsule with inflamed guitars, and once again, insultingly melodic.

This double album, carefully and lovingly produced, might have limited repercussions, but it will definitely sell out. And it’s more than worth it to hold onto this treasure of impeccable songs with electric joviality and tremendous melodies, the kind that get stuck in your head and have you humming instrumental riffs and inventing a language for the choruses, like the first time you felt really moved by music.

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released September 30, 2013

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Track Name: Black Beach
Dance over broken glass
Over broken bones
Dance over me
Dance over heads
Over arms
Bound in blood

Dancing together over white background
Over sexy new toys
Over the hill
Dancing together over the last year
Over candy lollipops
Over the waves

Dance over heads
Over arms
Dance in blood
Dance over heads
Over arms
Bound in blood

Dancing together over white background
Over sexy new toys
Over the hill
Dancing together over the last year
Over candy lollipops
Over the waves

Dance over heads
Over arms
Bound in blood
Dance over glass
Over bones
Bound in blood

Dancing together over white background
Over sexy new toys
Over the hill
Dancing together over the last year
Over candy lollipops
Over the waves

Dance over heads
Over arms
Bound in blood
Dance over glass
Over bones
Bound in blood

These shoes are made
For dancing over the pain
These shoes are made
For dancing in the hell

These shoes are made
For dancing over the pain
These shoes are made
For dancing in the hell

These shoes are made
For dancing over the pain
These shoes are made
For dancing in the hell
Track Name: Between Two Stars
Day after day
When I wake up
I can see you close down the windows
Everyday
When you rest
We can see my name in your shoulders
Bold, stout, spruce, nice
I could talk with me, ever, ever
Listen to me
Be good to me
I want run with you in the heaven
Oh, oh, oh. We can smile
Let’s journey between two stars. Oh, oh, oh
Lets walk dance, over red grass, oh, oh, oh
Day after day
When I wake up
I can see you close down the windows
Everyday
When you rest
We can see my name in your shoulders
Bold, stout, spruce, nice
I could talk with me, ever, ever
Listen to me
Be good to me
I want run with you in the heaven
Oh, oh, oh. We can smile
Let’s journey between two stars. Oh, oh, oh
Lets walk dance, over red grass, oh, oh, oh

Day after day
When I wake up
I can see you close down the windows
Everyday
When you rest
We can see my name in your shoulders
Bold, stout, spruce, nice
I could talk with me, ever, ever
Listen to me
Be good to me
I want run with you in the heaven
Track Name: Watch Over You
See the clouds and see the Sun and see yourself
I wanna be, I wanna be like this no man

See the men and see your neck and yours included
Can you see it, can you see the bite in your neck?

Will fly above the town one more time
Way lay you, way lay you, watch over you

See the clouds and see the Sun and see yourself
I wanna be, I wanna be like this no man

See the men and see your neck and yours included
Can you see it, can you see the bite in your neck?

Will fly above the town one more time
Way lay you, way lay you, watch over you

Today’s the day that all the world will see
I’m a boy, I’m a boy, will never die

Will fly above the town one more time
Way lay you, way lay you, watch over you

Today’s the day that all the world will see
I’m a boy, I’m a boy, will never die
Track Name: Suicide
Walking on dry leaves in the wood I was born
I remember my childhood when slowly years went by
And they seemed to be endless, now I’m sitting in this room
Full of sadness, full of sadness, full of suicide

You made me feel like full of suicide
You made me feel like full of suicide, suicide

In this place, sitting on my bed
I remember my childhood playing with my friends
And they lost, I wish they were here with me, now
Full of tender, full of love, empty of suicide

You made me feel like full of suicide
You made me feel like full of suicide, suicide

In this place, sitting on my bed
I remember my childhood playing with my friends

You made me feel like full of suicide
You made me feel like full of suicide, suicide
Suicide, suicide, suicide
Track Name: French Boyfriend
You wake up one morning and you find
You have no work, I just don’t know what to do

You are free, she said, my little bitch
You are free, without a fucking pound
Please don’t go, no tomorrow
Please don’t go, no tomorrow

Well I hate this life, I hate your boy
I hate your boy, French boy...

You are free, she said, my little bitch
You are free, without a fucking pound
Please don’t go, no tomorrow
Please don’t go, no tomorrow

Well I hate this life, I hate your boy
I hate your boy, French boy, boyfriend

I can’t remember where
I’m tired, so tired
Where the man can’t work
I’m tired, so...

Free, she said, my little bitch
You are free, without a fucking pound
Please don’t go, no tomorrow
Please don’t go, no tomorrow

I can’t remember where...
I’m tired, so tired
Where the man can’t work
I’m tired, I’m free, modern life
I’m free, modern life
I’m free, modern life
I’m free, modern life

Free...
Track Name: TV Preacher
I can kiss the Sun
I can touch the Moon
Look at my hands

All the world can see
Only you can feel
The Sun going down

I’ll be the son
Of everything
You hate and love

It’s time to say
Good luck and bye
You don’t need me

I can see you, close down eyes
I can see you, cure, all your time

You’ll move mountains
You’ll stop the wind
All you need is faith

I can kiss the Sun
I can touch the Moon
Look at my hands

I can see you, close down eyes
I can see you, cure, all your time

You’ll move mountains
You’ll stop the wind
All you need is faith

I can kiss the Sun
I can touch the Moon
Look at my hands

All the world can see
Only you can feel
The Sun going down

I’ll be the son
Of everything
You hate and love

I’ll be the son
Of everything
You hate
I’ll be the son
Of everything
You hate
I’ll be the son
Of everything
You hate... all right
I’ll be the son
Of everything
You hate... all right
I’ll be the son
Of everything
You hate... all right
I’ll be the son
Of everything
You hate... all right
I’ll be the son
Of everything
You hate... all right

All you need is love
Track Name: Lone
I want to stay this way forever
You’ll find another one
You’ll be ok, don’t worry
I like to live alone

You love me, love me, love me like
Your father, mother, friend
You love me, love me, love me like
Your best, best friend

The best thing you ever had
You were a girl with style
I think you’d look around
There’s a man in every town

You love me, love me, love me like
Your father, mother, friend
We passed the time, the time somehow
You were a girl with style

And nothing turns
If you cry, if you appeal
And nothing turns
There’s a man in every town

And nothing turns
If you cry and nothing changes
And nothing turns
If you appeal

I want to stay this way forever
You’ll find another one
You’ll be ok, don’t worry
I like to live alone

You love me, love me, love me like
Your father, mother, friend
You love me, love me, love me like
Your best, best friend

And nothing turns
If you cry, if you appeal
And nothing turns
There’s a man in every town

And nothing turns
If you cry and nothing changes
And nothing turns
If you appeal

And nothing turns
If you cry, if you appeal
And nothing turns
There’s a man in every town

And nothing turns
If you cry and nothing changes
And nothing turns
If you appeal
Track Name: Emilio
Every day is black, every night, every day
My dreams have all flown, have all run, have all drowned

The lord is my judge, advocate, is my shoot
It’s raining on my face, we sleep in separate ditches

Let me a sweet dream in the mercy seat
Let me dream, let me die in peace

Every day is black, every night, every day
My dreams have all flown, have all run, have all drowned

Let me a sweet dream in the mercy seat
Let me dream, let me die in peace

Let me a sweet dream in the mercy seat
Let me dream, let me die in peace

The fears of one, the fears of one
Are the fears of one
The fears of one, the fears of one
Are the fears of everyone, everyone, everyone

Let me dream, let me dream, every day is black
Let me dream, let me dream, every day is black
Track Name: Psychof*.Bak
Do you want any joy?
Is this the first time?
Do you want anymore?
Come here and rape me
Oh you. If you were the one
Oh you. Enjoy a few days

I feel a psychofucker
I feel a little low
I feel a pretty lonesome
Oh you. If you were the one
Oh you. Enjoy a few days
Oh you. Enjoy a few days
Oh you. Enjoy a few days
Track Name: Pop Star
Trying to leave this drinking, drinking place
I feel my head, my soul on my feet
I never wanted anything, money, girls and fans
All I want is glory, it’s my dream

Drink, drunk, grass everyday
Trying to leave this smoking, smoking place
I never wanted anything, money, girls and fans
All I want is glory, it’s my dream

Dreaming in the sky, dreaming in the sky
Dreaming in the sky, smoking place
Dreaming in the sky, dreaming in the sky
Dreaming in the sky, drinking place
Dreaming in the sky, dreaming in the sky
Dreaming in the sky, everyday
Dreaming in the sky, dreaming in the sky
Dreaming in the sky, drunk everyday

Drink, drunk, grass everyday
I feel my head, I feel my soul on my feet
I never wanted anything, money, girls and fans
All I want is glory, it’s my dream
It’s my dream, I want feel the fame again
I want feel, I want feel
I want feel the fame again
I want feel, I want feel
I want feel the fame again
I want feel, I want feel
I want feel the fame again
Track Name: Hello, Goodbye
You live in the flower shop
Called "Little Head"
I live in front your shop
Called "Little Heart"
Goodbye "Little Heart"
I hope you had a good time
Hello "Little Head"
I hope you had a new life

You know my life is filled with smiles
Laughter, sadness and tears
You know my life is hollow without you
But you're so far away
You don't live in my head

Goodbye "Little Heart"
I hope you had a good time
Hello "Little Head"
I hope you had a new life

You know my life is filled with smiles
Laughter, sadness and tears
You know my life is hollow without you
But you're so far away

I believe in something best
Something way beyond your eyes
Something way beyond my mind
But you're so far away
You don't live in my head

All we hope you have a good time
All we hope you have a new life
All we hope you all the best
But you're so far away

You know my life is filled with smiles
Laughter, sadness and tears
You know my life is hollow without you
But you're so far away
You don't live in my head
Track Name: Electric Captain
She lives in a rainbow
On a river of sound
I’m sorry that ... I made her laugh
She is living alone
She remembers The Beatles
She’s living fast. Never tread grass
Never dies
Never reads
Never laughs
Never cries
She lives in my head
On a river of drink
I’m sorry that I made her read
She is living alone
She remembers The Beatles
She’s living fast. Never tread grass

(Never dies
Never reads
Never laughs
Never cries)
Track Name: To Be Alive
I want to sleep before the end
It’s another black unhappy day
Things don’t have to be this way
I wish to laugh and run

Something’s wrong
I don’t mind
I don’t mind
To be alive

Well, I’ve spent twelve days
And twelve nights trying to stand me
Trying to stand and now, bye!
It’s my end, I wish to be alive
To be alive
To be alive
To be alive
To be alive
To be alive
To be alive
To be alive

I can’t dream, I can’t think
What I will do? Maybe don’t stay
Don’t stay in this world
To be alive

I can’t dream, I can’t think
what I will do? Maybe don’t stay
Don’t stay in this world
To be alive
To be alive
To be alive

I can’t dream, I can’t think
What I will do? Maybe don’t stay
Don’t stay in this world
To be alive

I can’t think, I don’t know
Where I will go
Don’t forget my home
I don’t stay in this world
To be alive
To be alive
To be alive

I can’t think, I don’t know
Where I will go
Don’t forget my home
I don’t stay in this world

I can’t think, I don’t know
Where I will go
Don’t forget my home
I don’t stay in this world
To be alive
To be alive
To be alive
To be alive
Track Name: Fraguel Rock
Sure, you won, I want noise in my head
But the best thing there is the sound of your screams
Pleasure screams

Sure, you won, I want touch your pretty smooth breast
I want run with my tongue all your skin
All your skin

Bitch I want be with you all night long
I want fuck you in my room
I want hear your pleasure screams
I want touch you

Sure, you won, I want noise in my head
But the best thing there is the sound of your screams
Pleasure screams

Bitch I want be with you all night long
I want fuck you in my room
I want hear your pleasure screams
I want touch you

Bitch I want be with you all night long
I want fuck you in my room
I want hear your pleasure screams
I want touch you

Sure, you won, I want touch your pretty smooth breast
I want run with my tongue all your skin
All your skin, all your skin
Track Name: Sputnik Was Sent Into Space Over 30 Years Ago, In 1957
Instrumental
Track Name: Sixty
I wish, I saw you, one more time between my arms
I’d like watching you in the hall running away
Sleeping on my legs, on my feet, on my arms, scratching my hands
I think of you all the time since that day, since that day

I wish, I saw you, one more time between my arms
I’d like watching you in the hall running away
Sleeping on my legs, on my feet, on my arms, scratching my hands
I think of you all the time since that day, since that day
Track Name: She Used To Make Me Smile
She stole my wife and my kid
I could only made you cry with these words
I’m sorry that I made you cry this morning
I’m losing you. I don’t know what to do
The only things she wants to know
The only things she wants to know
Is how and why and when and where to make harm
To make me harm
I wish you were here today, I will feel right
She used to make me smile when I was down
I’m losing you. I don’t know what to do
The only things she wants to know
The only things she wants to know
Is how and why and when and where to make harm
I’m feeling down. Down, down
The only things she wants to know
The only things she wants to know
Is how and why and when and where to make harm
And now
I’m feeling... feeling down
And now
I’m feeling... feeling down
Why se wants to make me harm
Track Name: Big Lies Under A Summer Rain (Wilson Love Me)
I love you cause you tell me
I love you cause you do me
Something I need to know
Something I need to know
Believe me when I beg you
Believe me when I pray you
You promise not to tell
You promise not to tell

One sweet dream
Let me whisper in your ear
I’ve never felt so happy
I’ll never let you down
I’ll never let you down

You, tell me all this big lies
The good things what I can have
Something I need to know
Something I need to know
Believe me when I pray you
You promise not to tell
You promise not to tell

One sweet dream
Let me whisper in your ear
I’ve never felt so happy
I’ll never let you down
I’ll never let you down

One sweet dream
I’ve never felt so happy
I’ve never felt so happy
I’ll never let you down
I’ll never let you down
Track Name: An Empty Page
Can you squeeze me
Into an empty page of your life
(Empty life) why won’t you change?
And be nice
I just can’t find my little place
In this world
Hear my voice
You’ll never fill up all your life

You know, I will be inside

Can you squeeze me
Into an empty page of your life
When I sleep with that picture?
Of your framed
Beside my bed
It makes me feel so sad inside
Don’t be cruel
You’ll never fill up all your life

You know, I will be inside
Track Name: Swayfest
You know, she lives in room 21
Believe me
You know, my girl
My love

You know, I wish
Those lips would speak
That pretty blonde head
I wish this brain would think

She went and stole
And stole my heart, believe me
She’s like a toy
Will never cry, my girl

You know, I wish
Those lips would speak
That pretty blonde head
I wish this brain would think

You know, she lives in room 21
Believe me
You know, my girl

My girl, don’t cry, baby
You know, don’t blow away
My girl, don’t cry, baby
You know, a dream

You know, I wish
Those lips would speak
That pretty blonde head
She moves to the pulse of my mind
Of my mind
Of my mind