Automatics – When The Tanks… 7″

automatics.jpgOk, this one isn’t that obscure. Nevertheless it’s a great one. Here’s what have to say about the Automatics and I don’t agree at all:”In effect its a weak powerpoppy single in the vein of bands like The Jags or Tonight. That said they were reputed to be quite a lively live act.“. So if you’ve never checked them out cause of that here’s your chance! Great punk rock in the vein of Generation X. And they’re counting in in German on When The Tanks… so that’s not punk?? Ehh?


The cover is really tuff to make a good scan of since it’s so much silver color in it. Yeah my scanner sucks.


Country: UK
Year: 1978
Label: Island
Format: 7″
When The Tanks Roll Over Poland Again.mp3
Watch Her Now.mp3

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19,170 Responses to Automatics – When The Tanks… 7″

  1. steve says:

    Some of the recent stuff by this ‘reformed’ band is amazing. They have some MP3s on their website, but I can’t find out which recent CD releases feature the tracks I especially like. I’ve mailed the site, but get no response. Maybe this is because I contacted Dave Philp some months ago about his pre-Automatics band, The Bombers (not the same band on The Label): they made a 3-song acetate, which Philp seems to want to completely deny. There’s some story, obviously, cos it’s definitely him, so maybe I’m in his bad books.

    • Steve Harland says:

      It’s interesting listening to his some 30 years later. Back then it sounded dead exciting as did the B side but time has not been kind. In a less hostile climate and more mercurial hands this could have been a minor hit but it disappeared without trace and The Automatics sank without trace….until recently.

      It still sounds good to me and sounds like a poppier version of a Buzzcocks song at their best – that’s not a bad recommendation!

  2. CORPUS 77 says:



  3. James says:

    Steve, track listings for the Automatics CD’s are listed on the links below:

    think the 2nd one may be an I-tunes download thing rather than a CD

  4. Ollie Stench says:

    “Tanks” is one of my all-time favorite songs. Wimpy or not, I never get tired of hearing it. Thanks for keeping it in the public eye!

  5. It don’t matter how good your scanner is, it’ll never make that cover look good. Designed to disintegrate, I think :-) Good tune though.

  6. steve says:

    James, thanks for those links. Still stumped though – “I Swear” and “Shine”, for instance, must be on record somewhere, but where? For me, some of this new stuff is the best I’ve heard from a re-formed band.

  7. The Flakes // Drummer says:

    Steve, are you talking about the new tracks found on their website with the reformed band? If that’s so I’m suprised at your bad taste ha ha :).

  8. steve says:

    People who know me well are NEVER surprised at my bad taste. “I Swear” is great great great, but still not quite as good as that Eamon “Fuck It” single or “Murder On The Dance Floor” by that woman with the funny eyes. And in ‘KBD’-terms, I’m still trying to find someone who shares my enthusiasm for “Weekend Girl” by The Bozos. If all of this fucks up my cred, how about this: I’ve been addicted to Neighbours for 20 years and have signed cast photos and everything on the walls.

  9. James says:

    Those songs aren’t on the new CD “Britannia” either, then again they don’t have “British” or “England” in the title. The Automatics have never really excited me, “Tanks” is the only worthwhile song on that “Missing Album” of old material. I’d buy that Bozos single if I ever see one for a couple of quid.

  10. Jim says:

    Never liked it the first couple of times I played it but now…..Great catchy as hell punk song! I burned this onto cdr a couple of years back and always crank it up when it comes on in the car! Quite a big No No subject to sing about back then even now! Wonder what the Poles thought of it?

  11. Erich says:

    I don’t think the Poles heard much Punk Rock in the 1980’s ….. Remember Mykel Board: “How much Punk Rock do you hear in Russia”.

  12. Degenerateen says:

    This 7″ is really rockin’ but I don’t remember listening to the lp much.

  13. Pawel from Poland says:

    we heard some PUNK in 1980 but…
    how did the band know about those tanks in 1978, soon we had martial law in our country

  14. Dave says:

    “I Swear” is out on the latest Automatics record “Jukebox of Human Sorrow”…..”Shine” still not out- in fact I forgot I had it…..oh and those Poles- loved it! Got fan mail from them all the time but that predated translating programs….well, and computers too come to think of it!
    Dave Philp

  15. Donna says:

    Stan Bland plays Weekend Girl live in Harrow pub last night. Great acoustic version.

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