Automatic Self Destruct: Deceleration Trauma

Title: Deceleration Trauma

Basics: Billing themselves as "your new favorite band!" the Phoenix-based quartet, entirely comprising transplants, plays a pretty straight-forward brand of punk rock. This would usually be a humdrum or bad thing, but given the hordes of simply awful bands I have had to recently listen to for You Asked For It, Deceleration Trauma is a fucking godsend.

They don't sing about the generation that followed baby boomers, tiki bars in people's backyards or some fucking fictional outlaw asshole named Ringo. Instead, Automatic Self Destruct is a band that sounds like they deserve to make a record and that they know what the fuck they are doing. Hearing the band absolutely rip into the first song on their album, "Get Down," was a long-needed relief from my trying, soul-crushing local music woes.

Best Song: "Tradecraft" showcases, in a rather honest way, just how talented musicians the members of Automatic Self Destruct are. The guys can craft a pretty catchy punk song, complete with super-fast, frenetic lyrics, and "Oi! Oi! Oi!" background vocals. The album has a nice mid- to late-'80s feel to it, and "Tradecraft" serves as the band's crowning achievement. 

Worst Song: Things get a little bit too corny and wistful on the song "The Fool." Musically, the song is one of the smoothest, most polished on the album -- but lyrically, the song falls way short. I know a band, especially one that plays the type of punk Automatic Self Destruct does, can't go an entire album without once getting a little sentimental and cheesy, so there's no point in really ragging on this song. I have to pick one song that I think doesn't quite match up to the rest, and the song's lyrics ("I've got a feeling / That it is said / That this feeling / It is called dread") follow a blatantly simple rhyme scheme, which is fine if the lyrics are at all unique or ingenious. In this instance, they are not.

Suggestions: Tone it down a bit with whomever it is that sings lead vocals on "Get Down" and let whomever sings the lead on "Tradecraft" take the reigns. If this is the same person, then don't necessarily try to sing like some disgruntled, possessed elf. The band's music will set the breakneck, thrashing tone for the album -- your singing style doesn't need to sound strained and diabolical to achieve this.

Grade: B

If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to have your music reviewed in You Asked For It (our first-come, first-served and often harsh record review column) please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to


Michael Lopez
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street Phoenix , AZ 85032

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