AUTOMATIC | A SUMMER RESIDENCY AT THE ECHO

by Liam Casey

It sure is a blessing that The Echo is well air-conditioned. Only then can the punks, in the dead of August, wear their bomber-jackets, their ponderous leather gear, and layer their denim with denim on denim to boot. 

This past Monday evening at the hallowed Angeleno establishment was nothing short of a spectacle for the August residency of LA-trio Automatic. Visible were the punk youngsters (punksters?), equipped with dyed spiked hair and steel-toed footwear. Enthused was their demeanor, hyped of course, not only by the mosh pit which completely dominated the venue’s floor, but also by the almost ecclesiastical musings and anecdotes by the vocalist of opening industrial synthpunk outfit, Terminal A’s Colin Peterson. 

Photographed by Megan Hullander

Photographed by Megan Hullander

Naturally, out near the margins of the pit’s radioactive nucleus were heads of a certain age, donning CBGB tees and sipping cold ales; attentive and engaged, but understandably unwilling to join in the physical cacophony. Peterson’s screams pierced while lone guitarist Lee Busch stood defiantly on the stage, strumming away while programming drum machines with a rapid 160BPM. 

After Terminal A took off, Automatic filled the stage. By the time they began playing a little after 11pm, the crowd was swelling. The concept of a Monday night spent-in was absent as the drums of Lola Dompè, thumping bass of Halle Saxon Gaines, vocals and analog synths of Izzy Glaudini blasted from the overheard monitors. 

Photographed by Megan Hullander

Photographed by Megan Hullander

There’s nothing quite like that sound of early industrial punk. It’s nearly impossible to not groove to, if even for just a moment with your heels into the ground. It’s a sound that represents that ripe and vital time when the lines between punk, disco, electro, and even proto hip-hop were practically nonexistent. Automatic emits that magic and synchronicity. While the crowd cheered and screamed doggedly, celebrating and responding to Automatic’s mantric tunes and in between sets, Glaudini wasn’t afraid to quell the fervor—reminding us, that at the end of the day, she runs the ambience and the room.

Photographed by Megan Hullander

Photographed by Megan Hullander

While Monday might lend us a little dread, a potent example of the long road ahead, it’s weekday residencies at the Echo with groups like Automatic that reinforce the therapy of rock n’roll. Let’s just hope that AC bill is not too high.