Auto!Automatic!!
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Auto!Automatic!!

Tampa, Florida, United States | SELF

Tampa, Florida, United States | SELF
Band Rock Avant-garde

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...Tampa trio Auto!Automatic!! opened with a set spotlighting its eponymous second album. Fret-tapping guitar master Brian Larsen impressed throughout with an arsenal of looped riffs, moody harmonics and unearthly noises.

-- Curtis Ross, tbt* - Tampa Bay Times


Thousands of feet up there with your tray table kicked out, speeding through canyons on an Amtrack or just cruise-controlling across countryside - everyone needs some travel tunes. Auto!Automatic!! have a brand of art-math rock that's as wide open as a Jack Kerouac road novel and just as soaked in booze. Known for their live shows and vibrantly rough-edged demos, this Tampa, Florida trio finally put together an entire record of their wares that is a rightful accumulation all the flavors they've learned to stew together since their inception. The album begins abruptly with "Samurai Showdown at the University of Tamhpa" showing off the trio's trademark immediacy in front man Brian Larsen's finger-punching guitar work, and Alex Fedele (drums) and Nate Murray (bass) pride themselves on. (Fedele has even been known to sport a Bob Seger: World Series of Rock" shirt for chrissakes.) Keeping with the cockeyed titling, "///////",">>>>>" and "\\\\\\" (I swear they just did that so someone would put it in print) are a trio of songs that focus on erie delay loops, random electronica, and even a pensive and intriospective synth, breaking up the instrumental voyage for just a spell. "4182333261...Dance!" us another example of Auto!Automatic!! traveling around a musical landscape with scattered sonic plotlines that include methodically monotonous guitar, driving drums, build ups, breakdowns, and finally runs off into the horizon wide eyed and in instrumental ecstasy. No really, it just feels that good. Welcome to "study aboard for your stereo. (Nick Margiasso)

Skyscraper - Issue 26 - Fall 2007 - Skyscraper Magazine


Tampa’s own Auto! Automatic!! took the stage around midnight donning Reax magazine T-shirts. Drawing in closely from the front and the sides, the audience huddled around the trio like an offensive line waiting to receive instructions from their quarterback. It may seem odd, especially since there is no singer, but it felt like the band was preaching more than playing, converting more and more people after each song. Brian Larson’s finger-tap work on the guitar never ceases to amaze and wow onlookers. I’ve seen the band perform over a dozen times, but never have I seen them play with such energy and passion. They clearly stole the show. - Reax Music Magazine


Another Round Won't Get Us Down, the first full-length offering from local favorites Auto!Automatic!! does not disappoint. The instrumental trios growing fan base can rest assured that A!A!!s action-packed, energy filled, technically sound live shows, transfer well to disc. Travis Adams has done a masterful job producing and mixing this record. Those who have never heard A!A!! can expect to be amazed by the guitar-tapping prowess of Brian Larsen, the driving base of field general and foosball superstar Nathan Murray, and the powerfully pulsating beats generated by Alex Fedele. The sound they create closely resembles that of a more dance friendly version of Minus the Bear. Another Round delivers the goods in a way only A!A!! can, three extremely talented individuals have managed to produce a great album and it's all been done locally, which is very exciting. The album hits the street on September 3rd. Do not miss their release party with special guests Riddle of Steel on that night. - Reax Music Magazine


It's a dependable formula in the music industry: if you want to be a successful rock band, you need to possess chemistry, originality, and a great singer/frontman. In the modern rock era, singers are not only the voice, they are the group's ambassador, the main connection between the band and the audience. A great frontman can lift a group to stellar heights, but they can also bury the band. The music itself becomes a secondary notion.

Tampa's Auto!Automatic!! is changing that focus. When you see Auto!Automatic!! live, you'll see Brian Larsen on Guitar, Alex Fedelle on drums, and Nate Murray on bass. You won't see a singer and you won't hear vocals—though that doesn’t mean you won’t be captivated by their presence on stage. The framework of their songs is unconventional, and with no vocalist to monopolize your senses, you're actually forced not only to hear, but to concentrate and listen. Auto!Automatic!! shapes their music with stunning guitar work blended with thick bass lines and drum patterns that will make you want to stand on your feet. And just when you think the song is merely a vehicle to showcase their individual talents, Auto!Automatic!! pulls you in with their best power move: the awesome hook. This is when all three members and all three sounds come together, creating an addictive melody, cleverly giving us something familiar where there is no voice to familiarize with. With no driver at the helm, Auto!Automatic!! is letting their music steer us into the world of instrumental indie rock.

After hanging out with Auto!Automatic!! before their last show, I realized that their chemistry and originality is based on one element missing from the rock group formula: friendship.

REAX: When did you guys come together as Auto!Automatic!!?

NM: We hung out before we started playing. We were friends. Actually, Brian and Alex played together for awhile.

BL: I originally met Nate through mutual friends at the University of Tampa, and we became good friends. And I've known Alex for a while, and we would always get together and mess around. Eventually, we began to push ourselves to do something more serious, and it developed from there. But we had all known each other for a while before we played as a group.

REAX: I know you guys had your first shows at the short-lived Green Room in Ybor. How were those shows compared to now?

NM: That was before me. I actually came and saw them at that show. That was kind of cool.

BL: The story of Nate is legendary. His dreams came true the day we asked him to play bass for us. I'm pretty sure he came to every single show we played until we made him our bass player, so he's been there pretty much from the start.

NM: I've been to every show…playing or not, I've been there.

REAX: And you had already had a bass player, right?

BL: At the time, yeah, but when Nate came in, it became a totally different sound.

REAX: You've played shows with an assortment of diverse musical groups. At the Dirty But Sophisticated show, you shared the bill with Breakdown. How do you like being on bills like that?

BL: Really, it's nothing new for us. As far back as we can remember, we've been playing shows with a whole mix of different types of bands. Even with indie rock shows, there's so many different styles of it. Overall, the majority of our shows have always been kind of mixed in with all sorts of bands like hardcore bands, hip hop, indie, emo, funk…everything…across the whole board, which we love. I love playing with all sorts of different bands. It definitely helps expose you to numerous crowds.

NM: Yes, the different circles all being there helps. It's pretty cool, especially the past few years—there's been a noticeable difference where shows are being more and more affected, at least around here and maybe Orlando, where to play with Breakdown, to have Auto!Automatic!!, and then another rock band and then a DJ. It's becoming more and more accepted in terms of crowd response, because a lot more people are just coming out and responding to that, versus having a bill with just all Florida new bands or just hardcore bands. It seems like around here, the real eclectic shows are accepted. People will come check it out.

REAX: Has this sort of integration influenced your music?

NM: Not yet, but, for example, we know Breakdown, so for instance, if we're trying to put something together we'll have a backing track and he'll MC on top of it. Whether it's an actual recording or something we play live, just that collaboration… if they're open to it, we're open to it, and I'm sure people will be open to it if we perform it live… hopefully. So, we just feel like, "Hey let's just do it. Let's just rock it.” It's all music.

REAX: For indie rock, your music is pretty different in that you are an instrumental band. Do you find it difficult to explain your music without a singer?

BL: Yes. That's one of the hardest questions to answer and the easiest answer is to just say, "Come see us play." But really, it's very hard to explain. I mean, I could list a whole bunch of bands that have influenced us where you could draw comparisons, but for most people that means nothing.

REAX: Do you feel that without a singer, you're more open and free in your songwriting?

AF: Yes, the music can really take any turn. Being instrumental and not having a vocalist, we could have a part where it's just a jam for a while and it becomes really progressive; there's nothing holding us back. If we feel like we wanna break into a death metal part, if we could come up with a transition, that'll happen. It's really free. We're not stuck with verse/chorus and a vocalist to follow. It's more of a musical painting.

BL: We tend to have a more linear structure to our songs, where it kind of goes through start to finish. It goes wherever, and without a vocalist you can do that. You don't necessarily have to repeat a part for a chorus or anything like that.

REAX: Describe how you came to be a purely instrumental band.

NM: The whole process is pretty organic. We didn't plan on this being an instrumental band, the songs just kind of worked into each other like that. We've tried out vocalists. We never thought it would just end up as us playing instrumental music, but it's just how it panned out, and we eventually realized that the songs are pretty solid by themselves. So right now, we are an instrumental band. We're not going to have a vocalist. There was a time when we wanted to try it out, but it just didn't work and it kind of refined itself to what it is now.

REAX: In terms of writing, how does it all start? With drums, guitars or bass?

BL: Some of the best work I think we've had in our writing process is usually when one person will bring a part and there's nothing planned after that, and you just go from there and see what happens. And some of the best work we've had has come out of that.

REAX: So you could argue that some songs are created by accident?

BL: One of our songs, "That's Some Sick Mouth and Knee Coordination," is a good example. Throughout normal practices, we go through our songs, and in between songs we usually mess around. And the main theme of that song came about from messing around in between our other songs, and just built from there, kind of by accident.

NM: A lot of times when that happens and we're just goofing off, and we'll all just tell each other, "Remember that part, remember that part!"

AF: One thing that's nice is that we do have equal artistic input into the songs. If I have an idea we'll try it. If Nate has an idea we'll try it. And if Brian has an idea, we'll try it and it's usually better than Nate and my ideas so we'll go with it. We just take whatever is best.

REAX: Without a singer, how do you maintain the audience's attention throughout a show?

AF: The music has to have an excitement level and keep people's attention when you're in an instrumental band. You can't just play a three chord rock song and everyone's like, "Why don't they have a vocalist?" And we still have that question asked at our shows.

NM: That's one thing about our band and instrumental music in general—you can't hide whatever you play. You have to play it here or there, you can't hide behind a vocal or hide behind a hook. Our songs have hooks and melodies, but it has to be cohesive. I've been told, “Your song is cool and all, but it's music for musicians,” which is an interesting point. But I think there is accessibility in the stuff we play, though the instrumentation is still there.

REAX: The guitar playing is an eye catcher, with your finger-tapping and cool melodies. When did you realize that this was the sound for Auto!Automatic!!?

BL: The introduction of finger tapping was just rare and we just took it to a whole new direction. I mean, we only had one song that was really kind of different but once we started doing finger-tapping, it' became the foundation of our sound.

AF: We all have slightly different tastes in music, too. Which is good, because each one of us brings different elements to the table. You know, Brian listens to a lot of abstract indie rock that uses finger-tapping. He also listens to a lot of electronic music. And then there's metal, too—all around, all three of us listen to it. And Nate listens to a lot of…

NM: Ashlee Simpson.

AF: He listens to Hot Water Music and bands like that. I listen to a lot of jam bands and Mars Volta. And with all these different influences, it kind of adds up to what you play.

BL: One cool thing is that really, I could be doing the exact same thing I'm doing now, but if I was with two different guys playing, I'm pretty sure we wouldn't sound anything like what we do right now and I also think we wouldn't have come this far either.

AF: Awww

Auto!Automatic!! is releasing their first full-length album in August. Check them out at www.autoautomatic.net
- Reax Music Magazine


BEST DRUMMER Alex Fedele, Auto!Automatic!! - Creative Loafing - Tampa


Vinyl Fever's third annual all-day bash includes a 2 p.m. meet-and-greet with hilarious deadpan stoner comic Brian Posehn (Mr. Show, The Sarah Silverman Program), who signs copies of Fart and Weiner Jokes, his new CD offered by Vinyl Fever 10 days earlier than its schedule release date in honor of Record Store Day. Tampa instrumental post/math rock trio Auto?Automatic?? stages a special in-store performance at 3 p.m., celebrity DJs (like Tampa Tribune's Curtis Ross) spin music throughout the event, and those of drinking age enjoy free PBRs while supplies last. In addition to all matter of RSD releases, Vinyl Fever also plans to unveil a newly acquired 3,000-record collection for sale that includes lots of 45s and plenty of surprises. - Creative Loafing - Tampa


Check out my short film produced with footage I shot at the second annual Antiwarpt Festival in downtown St. Petersburg [still at left, video after the jump]. I'm only one person, however, so what you see is what I saw and what you get. I'm sure I missed as much greatness as I witnessed, but here is a document of my experience. The music that accompanies the film is "FYF," a track off Auto!Automatic!!'s forthcoming self-titled LP, which sees its official release Sat., Aug. 20, at Crowbar in Ybor City. - Creative Loafing - Tampa


Auto!Automatic!! - A post-rock/prog-rock instrumental threesome with groove-oriented tendencies and a lead guitarist known for his finger-tapping technique and sonic looping capabilities. The band returned in March after a year of inactivity and by October had raised more than $3,500 via Kickstarter.com to record a new LP.

For fans of: The Mercury Program, Umphrey's McGee, Pelican
- Creative Loafing - Tampa


Three-piece tech-rock juggernaut Riddle of Steel, the coolest thing to come out of St. Louis, EVER, will be back at Ybor City's New World Brewery for another sure-to-be astounding show on Sept. 3. The group is crashing a CD release party by one of the Bay's most buzzed local bands, the irrepressible Auto!Automatic!!, and is bringing a pretty good posthardcore act from D.C. called Retisonic (which features former members of underground heavies Bluetip and Garden Variety) along for the ride. It's a testament to Auto!Automatic!!'s current, well-deserved status that one of the best rock acts in the country is being billed as "Special Guest" at the local's shindig. Mark your calendars; this could be the small-club gig of the year. - Creative Loafing - Tampa


Some kids pick up a guitar because they want to play like Jimmy Page. Others take a path less trodden, eschewing the heavy riffs of the rock gods for the quirky, finger-tapping sounds of folks like Dave Knudson. His band, the Seattle quartet Minus the Bear, is cited as an influence by Tampa Bay trios Military Junior and Auto!Automatic!, two bands that took the stage last Friday at The Garage in front of about150 people (100 paying customers) who showed up at the 300-capacity venue for "SMAsh 8: A benefit for SMAsh Radio." The podcast with a focus on local music is co-produced by Tampa Bay impresario (and Creative Loafing staffer) Joran Oppelt, who implements everything from text messaging to podcasting to help the unsigned bands associated with his Southeast Music Alliance.

The night started a bit slowly but ended with a zinger thanks to a frenzied yet focused set by Auto!Automatic! The band's guitarist, Greg Larsen, flashed a big smile as his fingers danced up and down the neck of his guitar and tapped out zigzag lines across the constantly shifting tempos created by drummer Alex Fedele and bassist Nate Murray. The chaotic instrumentals brought attendees to the front of the stage. Auto!Automatic! enjoys unleashing intricate surprises, but the trio's ear for melody and high-energy stage presence -- Larsen does a lot more up there than just stare down at his effects pedals -- is what truly sold their 30-minute performance.

SMAsh 8: A benefit for SMAsh Radio

Fri., March 23, The Garage, St. Petersburg - Creative Loafing - Tampa


El Ten Eleven is at Will's tonight. They're pretty great in a jazzy, low-stress, electonic math-rock sorta way. Openers Auto Automatic are from Tampa. They're pretty great too, in sorta the same way, except less jazzy, more rock and more stressed. Other openers Happy Valley are from Orlando. They're ... pretty fucking weird. - Orlando Weekly


...This week, Auto?Automatic?? launches their own Kickstarter project. The instrumental post-prog rock trio has been gigging around town since 2003 in various incarnations that have always included drummer Alex Fedele and guitarist Brian Larsen. After taking a year off, the two re-convened in January, brought on new bassist Adam Kahn, put together some material and debuted the new lineup when they opened for The Mercury Program in March. "That was the first time we'd played in 14 months and it was actually the first time that the Mercury Program played in five years, so it was a pretty special show for us," Fedele explained.

Auto?Automatic?? had always been well-liked and despite being inactive for more than a year, they received an overwhelmingly positive response when they returned. Fedele said that since then, "We haven't been able to slow down. We've been getting phone calls for shows, and we've been practicing and writing and we're ready to record, we've got 10 new songs ..."

The band known for Larsen's finger-tapping style of soloing/shredding and Fedele's concise, assertive rhythms wants to hit the studio while they've got some good momentum going, but, Fedele explained, "We've only been playing with the current lineup for a few months, so we don't have any money saved up like we normally would from playing a lot of shows ..." The the band caught wind of Kickstarter and read the site's success stories. "We thought it'd be a good way for us to try and raise the money to put toward recording ..."

Fedele submitted a proposal that was approved and has been waiting for the right time to get it going. This week is as good as any, especially following Rise of Saturn's triumph.

At the time of this writing, the band hadn't sorted out the reward details but had set a fundraising goal ($3,000) and a timeline (60 days) that'll give them the chance to get the word out, play more shows (including a small tour at the end of August), and do some rigorous social networking. If the drive proves successful, the money will be used to get Auto?Automatic?? into the studio.

Visit facebook.com/autoautomatic to check for updates on Auto?Automatic??'s Kickstarter fundraiser. - Creative Loafing - Tampa


Brian Larsen, guitars: “The two albums getting the most play from me lately would have to be We’ve Been Talking by Irish band Enemies, and the new Primus album Green Naugahyde. I’m a little late to the game with Enemies. Math rock with noodling guitar work is right up my alley, and despite the genre becoming somewhat saturated over the last few years, Enemies have really grabbed my attention. Not because they’re breaking any new ground, but more that their sound is reminiscent of two of my favorite defunct bands of the genre, Chicago’s Ghosts and Vodka and Milwaukee’s Pele. Primus, on the other hand, just plain rocks. While their last full-length album, Antipop, may not have been the best note to end on before an eleven-year hiatus, Green Naugahyde is certainly worth the wait. You can really hear the progression in Les Claypool’s bass tone over the years, and he’s really locked into his sound on this one. Not to mention the re-addition of original drummer Jay Lane, who gives the album a much more organic and groove-centric feel.”

Alex Fedele, drums: “Lately, I’ve been hooked on Seu Jorge and Almaz. I can’t get enough Junip, and my anticipation for the new Mastodon record has had me listening to YouTube teasers on repeat for weeks. Out of everything I’ve been spinning lately, the top record that my needle hits would have to be the Mars Volta’s The Bedlam in Goliath. I know it isn’t their most recent release, but goddamn, is it good. I’ve been listening to these guys since they were in At the Drive-In, and I will never forget the feeling that I got from my first listen of De-loused in the Comatorium. Their music has continually progressed over the years, and each record continues to amaze me more and more. The Bedlam In Goliath is probably my favorite of their releases; it seems the most cohesive and it’s definitely the most experimental. The drums on “Wax Simulacra” contain some of the most complex rhythms that I’ve heard lately. [Drummer] Thomas Pridgen is a maniac.”

Adam Khan, bass: Dwight Yoakum’s Greatest Hits: “Adam’s car stereo broke three years ago with this CD stuck inside. It still plays, though, and he has no complaints.”

(Instrumental rockers Auto! Automatic!! celebrate the release of their new self-titled CD with guests Guiltmaker Friday, Sept. 23 at Will’s Pub. Admission is $5. They also play the Indie Fall Fest Saturday at Firestone Live.)

PUBLISHED: SEPTEMBER 22, 2011 - Orlando Weekly


Auto! Automatic!! @ The Local 662 - Splitting time between this show and Have Gun, Will Travel, I didn't get to see as much of the set as I'd hoped. These talented musicians have been bringing their instrumental rock to Tampa for almost a decade, and time hasn't slowed their skills in the slightest. What has changed is their style; the newer material leaning more towards metal influences than their early prog-rock sound. It's definitely still rocking enough to inspire this interpretive dance performed by a fan, an early evening highlight (click here to check out the video, courtesy of Jared Fager.) —DR - Creative Loafing - Tampa


BEST ALBUM: Auto!Automatic!! - The winners of last year’s “Best Prog Fusion” award have earned another BOTB for their self-titled sophomore LP and first album in their current lineup. Auto!Automatic!! (Brokenmold Records) is a consistent, seamlessly produced, well-mixed album that captures each individual musician’s instrumental prowess, tight interplay, and expert fusion of post, prog, math and experimental rock. facebook.com/autoautomatic. - Creative Loafing - Tampa


AUTO!AUTOMATIC!! w/HISTORY/WITH HATCHET PIKE AND GUN If, like me, you're not a huge fan of avant-instrumental rock, which abruptly changes tempos midsong and implements myriad effects pedals, Auto!Automatic!! is still worth checking out. The Tampa trio, especially in a live context, manages to expertly turn all those tricky time signatures and guitar gadgetry into a concert experience that even fans of more conventional music can appreciate. (New World Brewery, Ybor City) - Creative Loafing - Tampa


Earlier that night over at Back Booth, a first-rate bill of exemplary Florida talent was assembled for the History CD-release party – an impressively aggressive album, by the way. An outstanding set was delivered by Tampa’s Auto! Automatic!!, who were the model of what a trio should be: powerfully lean and sonically clear. But it was the acres of dynamic ability that each player packed that afforded their performance maximum sonic mileage. With enough technicality to impress the academics but enough brawn to move everyone else, this is instrumental math rock that actually rocks out. Imagine that. - Orlando Weekly


Question marks! Exclamation points! It's all fair game for Brian Larsen, Alex Fedele and Adam Khan, who call themselves Auto?Automatic??. In the past, they've also gone by the name Auto!Automatic!!.

The experimental-progressive-instrumental rock machine can go from being repetitive and ambient and out-there to shimmery and pretty. Now, the band's sharp-angled bass riffs have been smoothed out a little by Khan, creating a mood that leaves more up to mystery -- hence the question marks.

The band will perform at 9 p.m. Saturday at the fourth anniversary party for Fly Bar in downtown Tampa. Free admission.

After the jump, get the rest of Julie Garisto's profile of Auto?Automatic??...

Re-automated: Sometimes being in a band isn’t automatic. A couple of years ago, the experimental-progressive-instrumental rock machine of Auto?Automatic?? (then with exclamation points) took a break and decided they couldn’t go on in their existing lineup and decided to part ways with friend and bassist Nate Murray. Guitarist Brian Larsen, drummer Alex Fedele and new bassist Adam Khan reanimated the group when they got the opportunity to open for the Mercury Program at Crowbar last month.

What’s new, what’s the same? They can still go from being repetitive to ambient and out-there to shimmery and pretty. Now, the sharp-angled bass riffs, popularized by the more muscular and aggressive Murray, have been smoothed out a little, creating a mood that leaves more up to mystery — hence the question marks.

Future plans: “We have plenty of material to work with for our next full-length, Larsen said. “Just gotta figure out the logistics.”

Khan: “Yeah, as long as I can do the album artwork, I could care less what goes on musically. (laughs) Kidding.”

Fedele: “Were hoping to record as soon as we can, if any labels are interested. Seriously though, we are planning on starting a kickstarter.com campaign soon to help us raise money to get into the studio and press and release our next album. We’ve had fellow bands successfully raise recording, pressing, and touring money through Kickstarter. It’s a very unique and cool site. We encourage people to check it out, especially the generous music-loving type!”

Auto? tune: “We named our most recent song Premature Songalation, which just kinda came out of nowhere,” Fedele said.

Larsen: “It starts out with a short looped guitar riff, and for the most part, the entire song is based around that loop sped up and played twice as fast. It creates some pretty unique layers and it’s great to play live as it frees up my hands to do things like take a sip of cold beer, maybe eat a pastrami on rye. Man, if I could get a TV on stage, too, I’d have the trifecta down.”

On being a replacement: “Here’s the truth: I have no idea what Nate was playing in the songs before, so, from that standpoint, all the songs are being played differently,” Khan said. “Nate and I definitely had different influences during our formative years, and I think it can be heard with the new lineup. He was a little more John Riggins; I’m a little more Marcus Allen, if that makes any sense.”

Personality differences: “It is a pretty diverse group of guys,” Khan replied. “Our stage personalities are almost opposite of our real personalities. For instance, Brian, who totally thrashes on stage, is one of the most low-key guys you could ever hang out with. Alex is super-intense behind the drum set, but a ridiculously lighthearted and relaxed when we’re hanging out. I barely move when we’re playing, but I am insanely fidgety when I’m socializing.”

Their Seven Dwarves names: “I guess Brian is Brainy Dwarf, I’m Silly Dwarf,” Khan said, “and Alex is Happy-Action-Fun-Time Dwarf.”

Hear them: 9 p.m. Saturday at Fly Bar, 1202 N Franklin St., Tampa, for the venue’s fourth anniversary party. No cover; $4 drink specials.

-- Julie Garisto, tbt* - TBT / Tampa Bay Times


Last year, Auto!Automatic!! raised $3,510 to record a new album via a successful Kickstarter.com campaign. The instrumental trio landed at Short Circuit Studios -- fast becoming THE place for local bands to produce superior recordings on the cheap -- and laid down the eight tracks that became their eponymous sophomore LP.

Auto!Automatic!! (Brokenmold Records) is a cohesive, seamlessly produced, well-mixed album that captures the band's blend of post, prog, math and experimental rock as delivered by the current lineup: guitarist Brian Larson, drummer Alex Fedele, and newest member, bassist Adam Khan. Larson is ridiculously adept and can switch up the tone and style of his playing at any given moment, tapping or shredding solos, picking through arpeggios or plucking harmonics, looping notes and building atmospherics, incorporating fuzzy distortion or wailing reverb. Khan brings the grooves to the table, and is skilled enough that he can coordinate and harmonize with Larson, synch up with Fedele's rhythms, or provide a low-end foundation when Larson and Fedele are matching paces. Fedele keeps tight rhythms with seeming ease, setting the speed or matching Larson's change in time signatures, adding a fast breakdown or metal aggressive feel, and all this with nary a superfluous fill to be heard.

The eight-track sophomore ebbs and flows, from quiet and pensive to insistent and intense, to cool and collected. Some tracks play around with menacing dissonance ("FYF," "Premature Esongulation") while others are more groove-oriented ("Suzanne Cook Is a Saint," "2 Girls, World Cup"), but all feature the tight interplay of three musicians who've really come into their sound.

Brokenmold Entertainment celebrates the album's completion with a Saturday night A!A!! CD release show that features support sets by two other high-quality instrumental acts, as well as raffles throughout the night for prizes ranging from a Miller Lite summer beer package to a Sector 9 longboard. CL hosts a pre-show listening party with the band in the Creative Loafing Lounge (our virtual Turntable.fm room) on Friday from noon to 2 p.m. Hear tracks off the new album, then hit the show and pick up a copy the following night. - Creative Loafing - Tampa


Despite only releasing one full-length (2006’s Another Round Won’t Get Us Down) prior to their latest, self-titled long-player, Auto!Automatic!! have a long and storied history in the Bay area. In fact, the prog-rock trio have been around so long that the question marks in their original band name have even morphed to question marks.

More important than a minor punctuation adjustment, however, is the outfit’s slightly tweaked, post-hiatus lineup. The band took a break after parting ways with original bassist Nate Murray, and added the band’s newest member – Adam Khan – when they reincarnated themselves last June. It’s this current roster that gets to shine on Auto!Automatic!!, which was released on August 20 via Tampa-based indie imprint, Brokenmold Entertainment. The song names have toned down a bit – gone are untitled songs, replaced by slightly less-odd titles like “Two Girls, World Cup” and “Honey Mustard in the Chem Lab with a History Book,” but all the musical prowess remains.

What’s most noticeable is the way the band mostly abandons softer moments from Another Round (“A!A!! @ A_A, Eh_,” “41823335461…Dance!”) in favor of straight ahead rock numbers with vibes that suggest all out aural war. Album opener “In Oder Aus” – which features Poetry N’ Lotion’s Matt Lee on keys – kicks off with reverse looped guitar before unfolding into a menagerie of cascading arpeggios, staccato bass drum, and heavy riffs. Clocking in at seven-minutes long, it’s the LP third-lengthiest track, and that’s the biggest improvement that A!A!! has made since Another Round.

Where only one song on the band’s debut cracked the five-minute mark, the average song length on A!A!! hovers around six minutes, therefore allowing the band – Khan along with guitarist Brian Larsen and drummer Alex Fedele – to spread out and craft an album that feels like a journey instead a bunch of random thoughts strung together. “Two Girls, World Cup” opens with Larsen and Kahn exchanging contrasting melodies as Fedele changes rhythms so many times that it’s hard to tell where the song actually starts and ends. The track’s mid-section features almost reggae-ish riffing, which manifests itself in a new form at the end of the track amongst twinkling looped guitar and nice low end by Kahn.

The only drawback to the record is the way Fedele’s kick doesn’t get a chance to make itself felt through speakers and headphones alike, but with an album as enjoyable as this, it’s easy to look past that, sit back, and enjoy this ride.

Auto!Automatic was released on CD and special edition vinyl via Brokenmold Entertainment on August 20th.

See them again on September 3 when they play New World Brewery with Great Decivers and Living Arches. More information on that show is available here. - SuburbanApologist.com


...Auto!Automatic!! Fidgety and furious, the angular math-rock of Tampa’s Auto! Automatic!! makes us smile every time they play. Rather than taking a studious, furrowed-brow approach to their tempo-changing maelstrom, this trio joyously attacks their instruments in a way that makes you want to dance – or just spaz out. (10:30 p.m. at Cafe Annie) - Orlando Weekly


On August 20, 2001, I sat at New World Brewery watching Little Lo play to a mostly empty room. I wondered how Tampa could sleep on such an awesome show, but apparently everyone was at Crowbar rightfully helping Auto!Automatic!! celebrate the release of their new, self-titled LP (out now via Brokenmold Entertainment).
Joining A!A!!’s legion of fans were Poetry ‘n’ Lotion, Set and Setting, and Florida Night Heat bassist Andre Jones — aka The Black Viking God. Jones served as the evening’s MC, helping orchestrate the distribution of these badass foam hands as well as a slew of sweet auction prizes. A!A!! pretty much screwed every other band by throwing such a badass shindig because it’s going to be really hard to top this. Check a gallery of A!A!!’s set as well as links to more pictures from the evening below. - SuburbanApologist.com


The instrumental three-piece fuses elements of prog, post and alt rock, and throws in the occasional jazz, funk and reggae flavors. The players have chops to spare and good working chemistry that adds up to a dynamic whole, guitarist Brian Larsen’s finger-tapping style of soloing and shredding, sometimes recorded and looped back, is a good counterpart to drummer Alex Fedele’s concise, assertive rhythms, and Kahn’s steady swaying groove-oriented basslines brings added warmth and draws more danceable moments from their sound. Inactive for roughly a year, Auto?Automatic?? came back with a bang when they opened for Mercury Program in March, and have been going full steam ahead ever since. The band’s Kickstarter.com drive to raise funds for a new album is taking place right now and ends Sept. 20. facebook.com/autoautomatic - Creative Loafing - Tampa


The instrumental three-piece fuses elements of prog, post and alt rock, and throws in the occasional jazz, funk and reggae flavors. The players have chops to spare and good working chemistry that adds up to a dynamic whole, guitarist Brian Larsen’s finger-tapping style of soloing and shredding, sometimes recorded and looped back, is a good counterpart to drummer Alex Fedele’s concise, assertive rhythms, and Kahn’s steady swaying groove-oriented basslines brings added warmth and draws more danceable moments from their sound. Inactive for roughly a year, Auto?Automatic?? came back with a bang when they opened for Mercury Program in March, and have been going full steam ahead ever since. The band’s Kickstarter.com drive to raise funds for a new album is taking place right now and ends Sept. 20. “The instrumental three-piece fuses elements of prog, post and alt rock, and throws in the occasional jazz, funk and reggae flavors. The players have chops to spare and good working chemistry that adds up to a dynamic whole, guitarist Brian Larsen’s finger-tapping style of soloing and shredding, sometimes recorded and looped back, is a good counterpart to drummer Alex Fedele’s concise, assertive rhythms, and Kahn’s steady swaying groove-oriented basslines brings added warmth and draws more danceable moments from their sound. Inactive for roughly a year, Auto?Automatic?? came back with a bang when they opened for Mercury Program in March, and have been going full steam ahead ever since. The band’s Kickstarter.com drive to raise funds for a new album is taking place right now and ends Sept. 20. - Creative Loafing


Discography

Auto!Automatic!! - 'Self-Titled' (2011)
Auto!Automatic!! - 'Another Round Won't Get Us Down' (2006)

Photos

Bio

At the start of 2010, instrumental Tampa trio Auto!Automatic!! went about their business assertively, composing with enhanced eloquence and performing their latest material in the Bay’s best venues. Embarking on a productive departure from 2009’s Another Round Won't Get Us Down, the band added new bassist Adam Khan, whose groove-oriented, jazz influenced bass lines seamlessly amplify an expansive sonic spectrum constructed by guitarist Brian Larsen and drummer Alex Fedele. “The instrumental three-piece fuses elements of prog, post, and alt rock, and throws in the occasional jazz, funk, and reggae flavors. The players have chops to spare and good working chemistry that adds up to a dynamic whole,” wrote Tampa Bay’s Creative Loafing in naming Auto!Automatic!! best prog fusion band of 2010.

On the strength of its following (which tends toward rabid commitment) and its acclaim, the band aimed to raise $3500 via Kickstarter.com to fund the recording and release of a new album. With accolades emerging from all angles, perhaps they should have predicted that they would wind up with a surplus. The results of the band’s audacious new effort is a genre-defeating cocktail of sound served brashly on the platter of a self-titled album released in August 2011 by Brokenmold Entertainment. If Auto!Automatic!! can be called “experimental,” then it’s worth noting that what they’ve cooked up in their laboratory has a rapid effect: the album was named Creative Loafing’s Best Album for 2011, only weeks after its release. As superior sonic mixologists, it is no surprise that Auto!Automatic!! is the toast of the town. “The eight-track sophomore ebbs and flows,” writes Creative Loafing, “from quiet and pensive to insistent and intense, to cool and collected. Some tracks play around with menacing dissonance ("FYF," "Premature Esongulation") while others are more groove-oriented ("Suzanne Cook Is a Saint," "2 Girls, World Cup"), but all feature the tight interplay of three musicians who've really come into their sound.”

Listening to Auto!Automatic!! live amounts to something greater than simply watching a band – it is more like stitching oneself into an atmosphere of precisely balanced harmonics. Make no mistake: this is a loud-ass rock band, but the way A!A!! weave their elements together hails attention forcefully only to let the mind wander; like sitting on the water’s edge in contemplation and feeling the tide wash over, finally, again and again. “Larsen,” says Creative Loafing, “is ridiculously adept and can switch up the tone and style of his playing at any given moment, tapping or shredding solos, picking through arpeggios or plucking harmonics, looping notes and building atmospherics, incorporating fuzzy distortion or wailing reverb. Khan brings the grooves to the table, and is skilled enough that he can coordinate and harmonize with Larsen, synch up with Fedele's rhythms, or provide a low-end foundation when Larsen and Fedele are matching paces. Fedele keeps tight rhythms with seeming ease, setting the speed or matching Larsen's change in time signatures, adding a fast breakdown or metal aggressive feel, and all this with nary a superfluous fill to be heard.” Description-defiance is a value Auto!Automatic!! holds refreshingly close to its rhythmically beating heart, but the band has shared the stage with some notable acts: Battles, El Ten Eleven, The Mercury Program, Joan of Arc, Unwed Sailor, Codeseven, and many others.

RIYL: Don Caballero, Battles, Mercury Program, Pele, Ghosts & Vodka.