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Head Automatica - Popaganda Review

by Matthew Hastie

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For those of you who don't know who Daryl Palumbo is, take a moment to recognize the name. You might know him as the frontman to the influential hardcore band Glassjaw, but you might be surprised to learn about his other project, Head Automatica. The first time I heard Head Automatica, I couldn't believe what I was hearing either.

I was introduced to this band with their last release, Decadence, which had the radio hit "Beating Heart Baby". If you've had a pulse and seek out new alternative music then you probably have heard this catchy tune a few times. I was anxious to hear more and delved deep into the album to find many dance songs that were familiarly disco, but still had a new edge to them. I was excited to learn about their newest album, Popaganda and got a chance to sit down and listen to it.

Popaganda is a departure from their previous work, however some songs are still familiar such as the dancey "Egyptian Musk" which contains a lot of the same inspiration that went into songs on their last album. At some points you feel that you are listening to an album recovered from the 70's that no one has heard, except this disco doesn't suck. Most of the album is focused on more pop songs, thus aptly titled Popaganda. While most musicians from the hardcore area would shudder at the thought of becoming more pop, Palumbo embraces it. He does well screaming his head off with Glassjaw and singing catchy melodies with Head Automatica like on the album opener "Graduation Day".

The fact that Head Automatica is such a departure from Glassjaw will definitely scare some people away. Popaganda is a much needed breath of fresh air in our world of fabricated music. You should definitely give the new disc a spin and open your ears to something pleasantly new. It may not have any lasting power, but it's definitely a good CD to tide you over until Palumbo makes something new. We can only hope his chronic Crohn's Disease doesn't flare up again and hinder Head Automatica's tour with Taking Back Sunday.


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Head Automatica - Popaganda

Label:Warner Bros
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