Brooklyn duo Home Video sounds cool and collected on its newest album, but lacks the kind of songwriting needed to give the music zest and potency.
An indie band that dabbles in electronics, Brooklyn's Home Video creates soothing, warm tones that are as indistinguishable from one another as they are forgettable. On the newest album, The Automatic Process, Collin Ruffino (guitars/vocals) and David Gross (keyboard/bass/sequencer) show they have talent and a knack for creating cool and collected tunes, but not for songwriting. Their music practically screams "effervescence," in that it floats up and disappears. Except the music doesn't so much scream as much as it seeps into the background, blending and folding in upon itself.
For the right person, The Automatic Process gets the job done. Home Video certainly have a handle on Radiohead-inspired indie rock, and The Automatic Process is packed with songs that see Ruffino mime Thom Yorke's aching croon and accentuate vivid, multi-layered electronic soundscapes that try to tug at the heartstrings. Yet, much of the emotional power of The Automatic Process -- or, rather, the attempted emotional power -- feels empty and callow. Simply put, The Automatic Process is an airless album, a series of Muzak ditties for those attuned to indie rock chic.