This Is a Fix

Infobox Album |
Name = This Is a Fix
Type = Album
Artist = The Automatic

Released = UK August 25 2008
Recorded = Sage and Sound Recording Studio, West Hollywood & Warwick Hall, Cardiff
Genre = Post-punk revival
Alternative rock
Post-hardcore [] []
Length =
Label = B-Unique Records
Producer = Butch Walker
Writer = Robin Hawkins
James Frost
Paul Mullen
Iwan Griffiths
Reviews =
*Digital Spy Rating|2|5 [ link]
*Drowned In Sound (6/10) [ link]
*Hot Press Rating|1|5 [ link]
*NME (7/10) [ link]
*The Guardian Rating|1|5 [ link]
*Kerrang! Rating|4|5 (Aug '08)
* Rating|3|5 [ link]
*Rock Sound (8/10) [ link]
*TMM (8/10) [ link]
*The Sun Rating|4|5 [ link]
*Planet Sound (7/10) [ link]
Last album = Not Accepted Anywhere
This album = This Is a Fix
Next album =
Misc = Singles
Name = This Is a Fix
Type = Studio
single 1 = Steve McQueen
single 2 =
single 3 =
single 4 =
single 5 =
single 6 =
single 1 date = August 18, 2008
single 2 date =
single 3 date =
single 4 date =
single 5 date =
single 6 date =
Extra album cover
Upper caption = Alternative Art
Background = lightsteelblue

Lower caption =

"This Is a Fix" is the sophomore album by Wales based band The Automatic. It was released on 25th August 2008. [cite web |title= The Automatic Reveal New Album Title|work= Click Music|date= April 17 2008|url=|accessdate=2008-01-18] [cite web |title= New line-up, new sound, new album for the Welsh rockers…|work= MTV|date= May 21 2008|url=|accessdate= 2008-05-25 ] The album was made available to stream on the band's myspace on August 19th 2008 for one week, followed by b-sides "Young Entrepreneurs" and "Big Ideas" being made available. The album release was celebrated by the band and fans in Oxford Street HMV.Due to Polydor failing to distribute the record in time for releasefact|date=October 2008, the album has so far only peaked at a disappointing #44 place in the UK Albums Chart, which is much lower than their previous album which peaked at #3.



Writing new material began in late 2006 in the form of two songs, "Steve McQueen" and "Revolution", which is now called "Secret Police", the two tracks over Christmas 2006 were recorded, and were intended to be used as one off singles as a bridge between Not Accepted Anywhere and the bands second album, however after the songs were performed on the "NME Rock n' Riot Tour 2007" the band left the UK and began various tours in the United States, presumably due to touring in the United States, "Steve McQueen" which was said to be released in early May 2007 was put aside, due to the band not being able to promote the new single in the UK as well as promoting the USA release of "Monster" and the début album "Not Accepted Anywhere which were scheduled for release around this point in the United States. [cite web |url = |title = Shockwaves NME Awards Indie Rock Tour is go |accessdate = 2008-02-22 |date = 2007-01-30 |publisher = "NME" ] [cite web |url =|title = NME Rock Tour Review - Belfast|accessdate = 2008-07-14 |date = 2007-01-29 |publisher =BBC ]

After touring in the United States and several return dates in the United Kingdom the band had returned to Cardiff to continue writing their second full release, with 10 songs in various stages of development the band announced on 18 September 2007 that Alex Pennie, having completed the touring process for Not Accepted Anywhere would not be joining the band for the recording of the second album. [cite web |url =|title = Back to the grind|accessdate = 2008-05-01 |date = 2007-08-20 |publisher = "" ] [cite web |url = |title = The Automatic's Pennie Quits The Band |accessdate = 2008-02-22 |date = 2007-01-30 |publisher = "NME" ] In mid October various websites began reporting on the activities of the band, claiming that Paul Mullen, former lead vocal synth and guitar player of had been working with the band in Cardiff on the next release, the band later confirmed that he had been working with them, officially introducing Paul Mullen as second guitarist and vocalist of The Automatic some days later. [cite web |url =|title =Yourcodenameis: The Automatic, apparently |accessdate = 2007-10-19 |date = 2007-09-10 |publisher = "drownedinsound" ]

The band journeyed to Los Angeles were they began working with Don Gilmore (Linkin Park, Good Charlotte) on recording the second album, however felt that the relationship and the sound being created was not right, thus switched to Butch Walker [cite web |title= Exclusive: The Automatic Guide Gigwise Around Their LA Studio|work= GIGWISE|date= July 11 2008|url=|accessdate= 2008-07-11 ] (Fall Out Boy, All-American Rejects), were they recorded several songs, before returning to Cardiff to finish the album with Richard Jackson [cite web |title=Comin home, with new tunes in our suitcases. literally. |work=MySpace blog |date=2008-03-01 |url= |accessdate = 2008-03-02 ] [cite web |title= Automatic now Pennie less|work= icwales (Gavin Allen)|date= November 7 2007|url=|accessdate= 2007-12-01 ] , finishing up and beginning touring around the United Kingdom performing the new tracks at smaller clubs, also naming the album "This Is A Fix", as well as announcing the release of first single, "Steve McQueen". [cite web |title= The Automatic Announce UK Tour!|work=|date= April 10 2008|url=|accessdate= 2008-02-21 ] [cite web |title= The Automatic reveal album details|work= BBC|date= July 11 2008|url=|accessdate= 2008-07-11 ]

In June 2008, the band wrote and recorded b-sides "Big Ideas", "Young Entrepreneurs" and "In This World" in Cardiff with Richard Jackson, the b-sides were featured on the various formats of the "Steve McQueen" single. [cite web |title= hello from paul & this is a fix webisode series launched!|work= MySpace blog (Paul Mullen)|date=2008-04-29 |url=|accessdate=2008-06-10]


In a radio interview with the BBC prior to the NME Rock Tour, guitarist James Frost announced a stand alone single for a April/May 2007 release, however the single, "Steve McQueen" did not get released, in the format of Alex Pennie still in the band, whether this version will be released at any point is not yet known. [cite web |title= The Automatic James Frost Audio Interview (5.16 single details)|work= BBC (Nottingham)|date= February 2007|url=|accessdate= 2008-03-26] The album itself was originally intended to be released in June 2008, however the band's label decided to move the release back to August 25th, with the album being released the week after the Reading and Leeds Festival. [cite web |title= Rocklouder catches up with The Automatic to talk all about the new album, on the last night of their first tour with new boy Paul Mullen|work= Rocklouder (Phillip May)|date=2008-04-29 |url= |accessdate=2008-05-03]

"Steve McQueen", long awaited single, was broadcast on Zane Lowe Radio 1 show on July 7th 2008, with the video beginning airing the day after, as well as a clip of the track being added to the bands myspace. On July 30, 2008 title track "This Is a Fix" was released as a free download. [cite web |title= The Automatic give 'This Is a Fix' away as a free download|work=|date= 2008-08-13|url=|accessdate= 2008-08-14] Before on August 19 2008 the entire album being made available to listen to on myspace, although one month prior, the entire album was leaked onto various torrent websites. The band are currently deliberating between which song to release as a second single, it is widely speculated to be "Magazines".


The band released three videos from their studio work, both in the United Kingdom and in the United States, following the albums completion the band have been releasing webisodes.

As a bonus to anyone who purchases the album physically a short film, shot and edited by photographer and friend of the band Peter Hill, the film features clips of the band performing at various venues, as well as the band talking about the creation of the album and the people who have helped the band.


In an interview with [] the band revealed the main theme of the upcoming album:"There’s a bit of an idea of something going on behind the scenes, like espionage or something like that. Bit of a war theme as well. Completely by accident, but it’s there. Kind of ties in with the album title, 'This Is a Fix'. There’s different layers of meaning to that as well. It could be a fix as in a repair, a fix as in a drug fix, something you need or a solution – there’s a lot of meanings to it.Frost: That all points to a few of the tracks, there’s one called 'Secret Police' and one called 'Bad Guy', which are tying in with the espionage thing, but then one about needing to enjoy yourself and get drunk once in a while and how everyone needs to do that’s another kind of fix, so that title is just from a line in the song, but it accidentally ties in with almost every other track". [cite web |title= Rocklouder catches up with The Automatic to talk all about the new album, on the last night of their first tour with new boy Paul Mullen|work= Rocklouder (Phillip May)|date=2008-04-29 |url= |accessdate=2008-05-03]


The albums artwork, by design studio Kiosk, was revealed on July 3 2008. [cite web |title= hello from paul & this is a fix webisode series launched!|work= MySpace blog (Paul Mullen)|date=2008-04-29 |url=|accessdate=2008-06-10] According to Yorkshire newspaper The Star, the artwork was based around a double decker bus in a Meadowhall car park, however the final artwork show does not involve this. [cite web |title= Is Meadowhall The Automatic choice for CD cover?|work= Sheffield Star (Tony Belshaw)|date=2008-06-09 |url=|accessdate=2008-06-14] . Kiosk's creative director, David Bailey, points out that a double decker bus was only used for one of the images in the CD booklet. He goes on to describe the final artwork as '...a mixture of sci-fi sub/urban Britain and the presence of absence'. The story behind the artwork is the how parts of the pictures used on This Is A Fix and Steve McQueen are missing, Paul Mullen has stated it to make people think about whether its something that's been deliberately removed, or whether its covering something up.

Critical response

Al Fox of the BBC praised the bands second album also, saying "The album is absolutely dripping with new ideas: the band's willingness to try them for size and to drop anything that doesn't immediately seem to be working means that only the cream of a very good crop of songs has made it onto the disc". [cite web |title= The Automatic - This Is a Fix Review|work= BBC Music|date=2008-08-13 |url=|accessdate=2008-08-14] Drowned In Sound reviewer Mike Haydock was not as praising of the bands second album, stating; "This Is a Fix may be good enough to save their bacon, but only just" criticising some of Rob Hawkins lyrics in "Bad Guy" and "This Ship", however was praised singles "Steve McQueen" and "Magazines", overall labelling the album as "a pleasant mess". [cite web |title= The Automatic - This Is a Fix - Review|work= Drowned In Sound|date= August 14 2008|url=|accessdate= 2008-08-14 ] Trevor Baker of Rock Sound magazine praised the album, giving it 8/10, saying "they appear to have gone into studio with the intention of making a record that doesn't let energy levels drop for even a second".cite news |first= Tim|last= Newbound|coauthors= |title= The Automatic - Second Album! - Easy?|url=|work= Rock Sound|date= 2008-08-01|accessdate=2008-08-19 ] Emma Johnston of Kerrang magazine praised the bands comeback; "The Melodies are relentless, almost pop in places, thanks to an underlying disco groove, arty and complex elsewhere. Forget the summer of Monster. This is a band reborn, and better than any could predict".cite news |first= Emma|last= Johnston|coauthors= |title= The Automatic - This Is A Fix|url=|work= Kerrang! Magazine|date= 2008-08-16|accessdate=2008-08-19 ]


Lead vocals on the album is split between Mullen and Rob, with Frost singing backing vocals. Alex Pennie took part in the early writing stages of the album, performing "Steve McQueen" and "Revolution" (now Secret Police) with the band since their creation in 2007, however since this both songs have been altered and no longer feature Pennies vocal parts, and many synth parts have been altered or removed from the two tracks.


*James Frost - Guitar, backing vocals, Synthesizers
*Paul Mullen - Guitar, backing vocals, Synthesizers
*Robin Hawkins - Lead vocals, bass guitar
*Iwan Griffiths drums, percussion, vocals

Other Musicians

*Frank Turner - Vocals, extra percussion
*Chris T-T - Vocals, extra percussion
*Butch Walker - Vocals, extra percussion


Tracks "Steve McQueen", "Magazines", "In The Mountains", "Bad Guy", "Secret Police" were produced in Los Angeles by Butch Walker, "Responsible Citizen", "Accessories", "This Is A Fix", "Sleepwalking", "Make The Mistakes" and "Light Entertainment" were recorded in Cardiff's Warwick Hall studio by Richard Jackson, "This Ship" was recorded at Olympic Studios in London and was produced by Stephen Harris. [cite web |url =|title = The Automatic Finish Second Album |accessdate = 2008-02-22 |date = 2007-01-30 |publisher = "" ]
*Butch Walker (Producer)
*Richard Jackson (Producer)
*Stephen Harris (Producer)
*John Davis (Master mixer)
*Ryan Hewitt (Engineer)
*Don Gilmore (Original producer)

Track listing

headline = This Is a Fix
title1 = Responsible Citizen
length1 = 3:34
title2 = Steve McQueen
length2 = 3:42
title3 = Accessories
length3 = 3:59
title4 = Magazines
length4 = 3:19
title5 = This Ship
length5 = 4:31
title6 = In the Mountains
length6 = 3:45
title7 = This Is A Fix
length7 = 3:04
title8 = Bad Guy
length8 = 3:35
title9 = Sleepwalking
length9 = 3:41
title10 = Secret Police
length10 = 3:00
title11 = Make the Mistakes
length11 = 4:05
title12 = Light Entertainment
length12 = 3:33
headline = Bonus Tracks
title1 = Steve McQueen (Acoustic)
length1 = 3:40
title2 = Steve McQueen (Live From Cardiff)
length2 = 3:37
title3 = Steve McQueen (Culpit 1 Remix)
length3 = 3:56
headline = B-Sides
title1 = In This World
length1 = 3:55
title2 = Big Ideas
length2 = 4:24
title3 = Young Entrepreneurs
length3 = 3:19

Working Titles

The band were confirmed to be working on 17 songs in studio, whilst some of the titles have remained the same, the band have said many of the working titles will not be used in the final cut of the album.
* "Divvent"
* "Paul Harris" now "This Ship"
* "Arjans"
* "Soul Wax"
* "Revolution" now "Secret Police"
* "Keith Chegwin"
* "Hard Rock" now "This Is A Fix"
* "Sleep Walking"
* "Accessories"
* "Steve McQueen"
* "TWTW"
* "Marmite"
* "Kings of Holey" now "Magazines"
* "Bad Guy"
* "First Song"
* "Seven Eight" now "Light Entertainment"
* "New Song"

External Links

* [ This Is a Fix recording session photos] by Peter Hill


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