The Lost Patrol - Automatic (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

The Lost Patrol

Automatic (2006)

Burning Heart

For anyone who's been paying attention, the Lost Patrol Band is not the same as Lost Patrol, well, except for the whole singer thing. When Dennis Lyxzén released the first two Lost Patrol albums, people were understandably surprised to see the Refused / (International) Noise Conspiracy singer rocking an acoustic guitar and singing straight from the heart about things not so political in nature. But it worked ever so well. Then on 2005's release, The Lost Patrol Band, he brought along a team of musicians to fill out his sound. That effort stumbled a little bit, as did the next T(i)NC album, but with Automatic, Lyxzén has come around again and created an absolute gem.

The fifth album for the Lost Patrol band is pure guilt-free pop-rock that's catchier than influenza and infinitely more enjoyable than the Norwalk virus, which I was putting up with this same time a year ago. While hints of the Clash might show up from time to time (such as the opening riffs of "Ain't Got the Time"), and many of the songs carry the vibe of the Swedish punk scene circa 2001, much of the songs get by just representing good old rock'n'roll with a clear oldies touch.

Lyrically, Lyxzén doesn't break from the Lost Patrol mold. If you're looking for anything revolutionary here, don't bother. It doesn't matter though, because as fans of Lyxzén know, it's not only his lyrical subject matter that's so appealing, but the way he delivers it. Topics range from love to youthfully embracing the moment.

While Automatic is a fun half-hour romping rock experience, at many times the song feels only surface-deep. There's not a whole lot going on underneath the fun. Of course, that isn't needed for the first few listens and it's quite possible to have a great time listening to Automatic again and again. But I felt as the album sat with me over time, even my favorite songs such as "Automatic Kids" and "I Don't Understand" started to lose their appeal. "Safety Pin" is one song where the Lost Patrol Band demonstrate that they're capable of playing with more depth, but moments like it don't show up too often.

Complaints aside, Automatic easily pleases. The Lost Patrol Band are a really fun band and the songs are easy to like. How long it sticks around in the CD changer might be another matter, but don't let that stop you from having a good time while it lasts -- you still chew bubble gum, don't you?