Return to Earth is one of those bands where you just can’t describe them to someone you just need to sit them in a chair and make them listen, so here goes. In what seems to be a mixture of Nine Inch Nails, Dillinger Escape Plan, and Faith No More, Return To Earth do an excellent job at mixing things up so you are never quite sure what to expect from track to track. The album starts off with a Self-Titled track which brings a mixture of NIN style programming elements, an almost continual chant of “What will become of us” and a dillinger-esque formula to the track, and then slowly progresses back to a more melodic portion of the song, just to keep you wanting more. Throughout the album Chris Pennie and gang take you for a ride, continuing on with their fast paced playing only to slow it down from time to time to ensure you keep your head straight. Some highlights along the journey include tracks like ‘Night of the Exploding Razors’ with a chorus stating “we gotta get it right this time, we gotta put up a fight” and then leading into a small chant of “everyone is god” toward the end. Following that directly would be a song where parts of it sounds like a Project 86 track, just a straight up post punk feeling to the song. The album takes sort of cooling point with the track ‘The Replicas’ which is more melodic, you really get to feel Rob’s vocal range in this one. The track has piano throughout and never really gets too chaotic as a majority of the rest of the album, it’s a nice touch ending the song with “our only chance to save the world” and then leading right into the next melodic track ‘So Close’ turning out to me more of an epic track on the album starting off all calm and peaceful and ending with a huge ‘orchestrated’ sound (through programming, heavy guitars and hard-hitting drums).The closing track ‘Altercation of Man’ is fast paced from start to finish giving you no room to breathe but the end.
Overall “Automata” has a continual story that seems to put you in the middle of a movie like “I, Robot”, the story seems to be taking place in a post-apocalyptic world where either robots are taking over the world and we must defeat them or become one of them. From start to finish you are hooked, never wanting to skip ahead or mix it up cause then the story would be thrown off. They strategically placed interluded titled ‘1.0’,’2.0′ and ‘3.0’ which do a great job in guiding you in the new direction the album takes. If you are a fan of Dillinger Escape Plan, Faith No More, Nine Inch Nails, or The Mars Volta do yourself a favor and check out this album. It is their second album and it does not disappoint.
Run Time: 49:27
Music Video for Automata