Who Are They? On their 2004 debut, New York's Head Automatica was the somewhat unlikely pairing of frontman Daryl Palumbo (frontman of Long Island emo legends Glassjaw) and producer Dan "The Automator" Nakamura (who's collaborated with the Gorillaz and Handsome Boy Modeling School). The band's sophomore release, Popaganda, finds Howard Benson (My Chemical Romance) behind the knobs, and the band is rounded out by Jarvis Morgan Holden (bass), Larry Gorman (drums, vocals), Craig Bonich (guitar), and Jessie Nelson (keys).
What's the Deal? Popaganda is bouncy, stylish, totally infectious, and almost nothing like their debut. The quintet's dance punk isn't as electro-fueled as it was with the Automator's big beats, as Benson brings with him radio-ready power-pop. The only resemblances to their debut come via the sugary, DFA-style of "Egyptian Musk" and "Nowhere Fast," and with Palumbo's charging vocals anguishing in misery (his own and hers), lying girls, and broken hearts.
Fun Fact: Though 14 tracks made the final version of Popaganda, Head Automatica reportedly wrote around 50 songs for it. No plans have been announced for the band to release a companion album.
Now Hear This: Head Automatica - "Graduation Day" (Download MP3)
Now Watch This: Head Automatica - "Graduation Day" Quicktime: Hi
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On the Web: headautomatica.com