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Album Review: Automatic Loveletter - The Kids Will Take Their Monsters On

Acoustic albums are a big challenge for any band to pull off, often becoming albums full of the same song with different words, or they just fail to rise above the generic singer-songwriter pap. Luckily, Automatic Loveletter have Juliet Simms who is in possession of one of the strongest and most unique voices in the scene. ‘The Kids Will Take Their Monsters On’, is composed of nine new songs in an entirely acoustic format, a mild departure from their normal pop-rock.

As competent as the musicianship of Automatic Loveletter is, it’s clear from the very beginning that it’s Simms’ voice that makes them distinct. Opening track ‘Never Take It Off’ leads in with minimal instrumentation, and low key vocals. Everything steps up a gear for ‘Save Me’, which has all the characteristics of a lead single; a huge vocal performance and plenty of energy in the accompaniment.

The following track, ‘Black Ink Revenge’, based on Simms’ diary entries, is the most passionate and emotive of all the material on the album. When Simms voice breaks on the line, “I don’t think I can stomach this…”, you almost want to fetch her a bucket. There is an interesting underlying song structure that rises and falls with Simms anger, a standard that is not reached elsewhere on the album.

As the album moves on, it’s quickly noticeable that the key to the band’s appeal on the opening salvo of tracks, soon becomes its undoing. There is a noticeable lull in the album as ‘Trade Places’ and ‘Cruel Cruel’ are non-starters. They’re not particularly bad, they’re just not very interesting and soon become background music. Things do pick up at the very end. ‘The Curtain Close’, is a near perfect outro to the album, a dreamy rhythm accompanied by a sprinkling of piano, culminating in a flutter of hand claps and unaccompanied vocals.

There’s no question that Juliet Simms vocal talents are what makes Automatic Loveletter stand out, in a relatively bland scene. ‘The Kids Will…’ doesn’t quite hit the mark on every track, but it is clear that there is the potential there to go meteoric.


‘The Kids Will Take Their Monsters On’ by Automatic Loveletter is available now on Paper and Plastick Records.

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Dan Issitt

Alter The Press!