Automatic Rival
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Automatic Rival

Sacramento, California, United States | SELF

Sacramento, California, United States | SELF
Band Alternative Rock

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"Indie Music Stop"

CD Review:

Artist: Automatic Rival
Title: Automatic Rival
Website: http://www.automaticrival.com
Style: Alternative/Rock
Rating: 8.50 out of 10
By Senior Staff Writer C.W. Ross

Automatic Rival is a three piece band that will have you wondering how they created such a full driving
sound with only a trio of members on this, their self-titled debut release.

This band likes to drive it hard with punched up guitar hooks and driving drum beats completed with
the vocals of band frontman David Wallace.

The other two band members are:

Nathan Shields- Bass, Vocals
Jeff Kwiatek -Drums

While most of the songs are hard driving they do manage to create a flow with a few more melodic
moments in them along with one or two slower paced tracks.

The band's music falls into an alternative/rock genre of music but at a few points I could feel the music
add in what sounded like small dashes of a punk edged sound even.

However you classify their music the main point is that it's good! Look to be hearing a lot more from this
band on the music scene. - C.W. Ross


"Indie-Music.com"

In listening to this band, the one thing that keeps coming back to me is that it's hard to believe just three guys are making all this sound. David Wallace, Nathan Shields and Jeff Kwiatek manage to put forth a ton of music in each song on this 12 track CD and have quite a bit of "zing" to add to the mix as well.
An alternative rock band with an edgy appeal, these guys manage to create a heavy sound that isn't muddy or sloppy. Most of these songs are packed with the palpable kind of energy that usually characterizes an almost punk sound, but they don't go down that road. Instead, they seem content to push some boundaries. I liked the different sound that I heard on this CD, and the first 3 tracks really stand out.

Most of these songs are fast and heavy, although "Hurricane" has an easier sound that gives the ear a break. The band understands the importance of ebb and flow, and they don't lose the idea of melody either, despite their penchant for hitting it hard. My one wish is that they had kept it a little bit shorter. It's nice to be left wanting just a bit, and with this type of music especially, you don't want so many songs on the CD that you feel like you have heard everything the band has to offer. I will say, however, that "My Pride" toward the end of the album changed up the feel quite a bit, and just at the right time.

Fans of alternative rock, especially those that like a hard-driving and truly energetic sound, will enjoy Automatic Rival. While this is their first effort, they have been around for a bit and seem to have a handle on what works for them. I expect we'll be hearing more from these guys. - Catherine Tully


"Sacramento News and Review"

I'm a snooty bastard when it comes to the musical craft, so it was to my own surprise, and the credit of this local power trio, that I wanted to take a second listen to its eponymous collection of punch-and-crunch tunes. Some part of my interest was certainly due to nostalgia, many of these songs being reminiscent of the very earnest, hook-laden bar-rockers that Live, Fuel and Tonic were churning out a decade ago. But, more objectively, what raises this album above the average soundtrack-to-your-weekend-hookup drivel is that these guys are practiced. So, despite a couple of tired progressions, they never come off as one-trick grunge-vendors. Listen to tunes like "Hurricane" and "My Pride." Good God, is that counterpoint? And dissonance with a purpose? Color me (skeptically) impressed. - Edward Dunn


"The California Aggie"

Upon first listen, this 2006 debut release from the Sacramento-based trio brought me back to the several years in high school I spent in perpetual angst as the world-hating theatre nerd. Needless to say, I turned off the gnashing guitar riffs and the booming voice of front man David Wallace, determined to never listen to it again.

Please ignore my gut reaction, because this CD is definitely worth a second listen.

Though of a louder genre than what some eardrums may be accustomed to, the music of Automatic Rival calls back to a rather classical time in music consisting of bar-rocking hooks and beats. And sure, more than half the time Wallace is earnestly and unrelentingly yelling about something, but at least he has a purpose.

The stand-out track of the album is "My Pride." A slow-paced tune compared to the other 12, this song is complete with raw and earnest lyrics about the downfall of a weighted ego. At once a relatable and sympathetic song, the trio shows that there's a way to be melodic when being loud.

The group, also consisting of bassist Nathan Shields and drummer Jeff Kwiatek, is solid in its musical composition and manages to instill a sincerity uncommonly found in today's somewhat increasingly asinine music industry. What you see is what you get with this band - and, really, what isn't there to respect about that?

Automatic Rival will play at the G St. Pub on Saturday at 9:30 p.m. joined by Tony Bataska and American Karma. For more information on the band, visit automaticrival.com.

-Jayne Wilson - Jayne Wilson


"AR has the IT!"

Automatic Rival is a fun alt rock trio from California's capitol city of Sacramento. With David Wallace – vocals/guitar, Nathan Shields – bass/vocals, and Jeff Kwiatek – drums, these guys produce some good, solid songs, definitely appealing to the radio-friendly ear. However, these guys are far from ordinary and I can't immediately tell you exactly why – you just have to listen. Once you do you will find yourself coming back to their tunes over and over and over again. I have played out a bunch of their stuff, and two songs that particularly stand-out are "Unglued" and "Lies and Stories".

On first blush, you hear that Automatic Rival is a tight, solid band. These guys are in perfect sync and impressively compliment each other's musicianship like any good band. Their song recordings are mixed down to perfectly complement their combined talent. However, what truly makes them unique in my mind is how each and every song draws you in from the first note. I immediately understand why the word around town about these guys is – "unforgettable".

After listening to the songs "Lies and Stories" and "Unglued" I can't decide which I like best. "Lies and Stories" is obviously ready for the radio – immediately! It is a very cool song that most fans would probably point to as their unquestionable favorite.
However, in my mind Automatic Rival's song underdog is "Unglued"… listen and listen NOW. "Unglued" just has that unmistakable IT! The kind of song you blast in the car on a Friday after a work week that lasted 4 days too long. "Unglued" has that rock n' roll, fun quality that immediately relives any built-up love, life, work, emotional angst. Trust me, give "Unglued" a few spins and you will soon see what I am talking about.

Right now Automatic Rival primarily plays in and around the Sacramento area (check www.automaticrival.com for upcoming gigs). But mark my words, not even Schwarzenegger's guns in his Mr. Universe days can hold these guys back from soon breaking out to a wider audience. I guarantee, add some Automatic Rival songs to your playlist and they will soon be a fave!

You can download Automatic Rival's songs on MySpace, at http://payplay.fm/autorival, or on iTunes. - Pete Venkman


Discography

LPs:
Automatic Rival - Automatic Rival (2006)
1. Alone (radio, streaming)
2. Despite You (radio, streaming)
3. Wasted (radio)
4. Too Late (streaming)
5. Guillotine (streaming)
6. Hurricane (radio)
7. False Hope (radio, streaming)
8. Lost (radio)
9. Killing Time (radio)
10. Innocence (streaming)
11. My Pride
12. Home

EPs:
Automatic Rival - Lies and Stories (2007)
1. Unglued (radio)
2. Lies and Stories (radio)
3. Take My Life (radio)
4. This Drug (radio)

Photos

Bio

Hailing from Sacramento, CA, AUTOMATIC RIVAL is a driving alternative rock band that you will not soon forget. Simply put, their music is loud, very melodic, sometimes fast, and always fun. Fronted by David Wallace (vocals/guitar), this foursome delivers a gripping sound that is truly unique in today’s world of parody. Wallace’s edgy vocals and catchy guitar riffs are supported by the solid foundation of Tony Pacheco (guitar/vocals), Nathan Shields (bass/vocals), and Jeff Kwiatek (drums). And although AUTOMATIC RIVAL has been around for seven years, Wallace and Shields have been writing songs together for more than twelve years. The group was rounded out in April of 2005 with the addition of Kwiatek, and the line-up expanded again to include Pacheco. The band released their first full-length album in February of 2006, and a 4-song EP entitled "Lies and Stories" in late 2007, which can be heard here on Sonicbids. Both releases are available for immediate download on iTunes, Amazon Music, Spotify, and most popular digital distribution channels.