Home Video: The Automatic Process

RIYL: Kid A-era Radiohead, Underworld, Doves

Finally: a Radiohead album that people can play around their kids without making them cry.

Brooklyn (by way of New Orleans) duo Home Video would probably take offense to that, but here’s the thing: Oxfordshire’s finest have done what all great rock bands should do by continuously searching for inspiration in places where mere mortals fear to tread, and for that they have been rewarded handsomely by fans and critics. But they have reached a point where “Paranoid Android” sounds like a Top 40 hit compared to the songs on their last two albums, leaving many Radiohead fans to like the idea of the band more than the band itself.


Anyone who considers himself a member of this support group of sorts will find lots to love about The Automatic Process, Home Video’s debut. The two layer instruments both electronic and organic on top of melodies that are intricate but not obtuse (a major distinction), while singer Collin Ruffino’s voice can’t help but recall Thom Yorke’s breathier moments. The songs are steeped in minor keys but don’t feel dark, and in the cases of the Seal-like “Beatrice” and “Every Love That Ever Was,” they throw in a catchy major chord to pick things up. They even delve into In Rainbows levels of weirdness on “Description of a Struggle,” where Ruffino sings wordlessly over a warped keyboard refrain. The lyrics don’t leave much of a footprint (six spins in, and we can’t remember a single word), but when closing track “You Will Know What to Do” slowly builds up to its widescreen climax, all is forgiven. The funny thing is, Radiohead comparisons aside, Home Video are actually more likely to become the next Underworld. What a wonderful thing that would be. (Home Video 2010)

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Click to buy The Automatic Process from Amazon