Excess

Automatic

Excess

LA trio Automatic conceived of Excess as a map of the moment when the ’70s underground met the ’80s mainstream: of post-punk being rebranded as New Wave, of the counterculture being absorbed into another capitalist exercise. From a political standpoint, it’s a reach, but from a stylistic one, it gets to what makes Excess appealing: a clash of slickness and grit (“Skyscraper”), punk appeal and pop instincts (“Venus Hour,” “NRG”), human error and machine perfection (“New Beginning”). The appeal to listeners interested in early-’80s music is obvious, but anyone into Le Tigre or 2000s K Records or the sparse post-disco of the Italians Do It Better label will appreciate it, too. As for the title, you assume it’s a joke.

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