The Enemy have had a funny old journey to where they are now. From the dizzying heights of their first number 1 record in 2007, they gradually plugged away happily on, making music, kind of always just that little bit behind being one of those big stadium filler bands. You always get a few bands like this and sometimes these bands release music that’s far superior to anything else out there, but for whatever strange reason, it just doesn’t blow up. That doesn’t matter anyway; the band seem perfectly content and happy in their own skins, and if new album It’s Automatic is anything to go by, they have plenty more tricks up their sleeves to keep us entertained.
The first thing you notice when album opener Don’t Let Nothing Get In The Way kicks in is the added production and crisper sound compared to previous albums. Lead singer Tom Clarke rattles his vocals across this stretched out guitar anthem that sounds like the best bits of both Kasabian and Black Rebel Motorcycle Club.
To The Waterfall and its big intro throws you right in at the deep end, as drums reminiscent of New Order accompanied by U2 guitar plinks hold the structure of the track together and push it forward into a big chorus. The rawness of earlier work is again noticeably missing, although this doesn’t feel like a bad thing; it’s definite progression.
Some Things has a wonderful bass line that rides the rhythm into oblivion before a strong melody makes you pay attention, whereas This Is Our Time is rollicking rock with a rare, gentle nod back to their older material, just reminding you where they’ve come from and where they’re going.
The great thing about It’s Automatic is they’ve not been scared of change like so many bands have been in the past, and will be in the future. They’ve embraced new sounds and new techniques and taken to them in a way that shows just what good song writing and musicianship has gone into the tunes. If this record is anything to go by, we’ll be hearing a lot more from them for years to come.