Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Automatic Fine Tuning - A.F.T. CD (album) cover


Automatic Fine Tuning


Heavy Prog

3.55 | 66 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Honorary Collaborator
2 stars A.F.T are a four piece band from Reading England led by guitar players Paul MacDonnell and Robert Cross, this self titled album is their only one released in 1976. I really wanted to like this album since it seems to be right up my alley but I just can't get into this at all. I bought the album years ago and played it quite a lot since then but unfortunately it doesn't click, so I'm officialy done with the album now. The concept of it is simple, a dual guitar attack accompanied by bass and drums no keys involved, very much inspired by bands like Wishbone Ash and Rush, even early Iron Maiden comes to mind in a few places. Apart from being inspired by heavy hard rock and progressive rock bands there's also some classical influences for a good measure. Unfortunately the band's strength turns out to be their weakness, while trying to produce an all instrumental album leaning heavily on guitar interplay, it's eventually all you get and that's not enough. Don't get me wrong these guys are pretty tight and definitely know how to play, I see a lot of positive reviews for it but sadly there isn't anything memorable throughout the album to make you wanna come back, this non stop jaming is very tiring and exhuasting.

The album is mostly instrumental, there are 2 short tracks one with vocals and 2 long pieces, but it doesn't really matter where you put your finger on the album it always sounds like your in the same place. The sound is very good and supposed to be a heaven for all you 70's guitar aficionados, both Cross and MaCdonnell's sound is strong and crunchy, and with all those blazing solos I should have been dancing like a madman. There are a few problems with the album, the first being there's not much of songwriting here, yes they came up with a few riffs, ideas or leads and of course some of it is good but it's not enough to my ears, they pretty much grind their ass off with solos. The second problem is related to the first, it's the relentless same kind of sound that just doesn't let go, after a while your dying for a break but it never happens. The third problem and the most important one and I may be hunted down by fans of the band for this but I gotta say that although these guys can certainly play I'm missing something that's called soul and feeling, it's just too technical for me. Their fast paced dual guitars is their strength but they certainly overplay it. I don't want to sound so negative because this album has its qualities and of course may appeal to fans of the genre, it even starts out nicely with a few cool ideas weaved together but unfortunately the whole thing just goes over my head without leaving anything memorable, not even a second of it. While there are a few good moments they are overshadowed by the rest of the album. 2.5 stars.

Sagichim | 2/5 |


As a registered member (register here if not), you can post rating/reviews (& edit later), comments reviews and submit new albums.

You are not logged, please complete authentication before continuing (use forum credentials).

Forum user
Forum password


Social review comments () BETA

Review related links

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: — jazz music reviews and archives | — metal music reviews and archives

Donate monthly and keep PA fast-loading and ad-free forever.