It's adios! Au revoir! to the keyboards of the 80s Autograph songs, and bonjour! Hello and welcome back to the new line up of a slightly tighter, heavier Autograph and their new album ‘Get Off Your Ass’.
When the alternative rock and grunge scene began to emerge it thwarted the hair metal bands of the 80s and plummeted Autograph into cold waters. Disorientated by the sudden shift and their inability to retain their traction, they lost the backing of their label and sadly disbanded in 1989, much to the disappointment of their fans. Their hit ‘Turn up the Radio’ continued to receive the air play it deserved and during their absence from the rock scene the video for TUTR continued to cycle on the classic VH1 lists.
It wasn’t until 2011 at the NAMM show in Anaheim that Steve Lynch and Randy Rand began to restore their friendship. In 2013 Autograph reformed with a new line up; Steve Lynch the founding guitarist, Randy Rand on the bass, Marc Wieland on the drums and the hard edged bluesy style voice of Simon Daniels (Jailhouse, 1RKO, Flood). This line up has dropped the keyboards, toned down and fattened up the sound to give a heavier and increased depth to the music. In 2015 they began releasing singles from their upcoming EP ‘Louder’ which included a live recording of ‘Turn up the Radio’. All 5 tracks from the EP made it to the new album ‘Get off your Ass’ along with 5 brand new tracks released on EMP Label Group.
Slamming down the gauntlet and advising you to ‘Get off Your Ass’ we are hurled into the first track on the album, hard hitting boom and a resounding ‘HUH’ from Daniels really smacks you in the ass and makes you pay attention. Ears locked and loaded, I’m listening with delight to the much heavier guitar driven track. ‘Every Generation’ swoops in with its slightly less aggressive pace and it’s soothing, melodic rock that just slides in through the ears, caresses the ear drums and leaves the catchy chorus lingering in your head before sliding into the next verse before rinsing and repeating. That edgy blues soaked voice of Daniels is awesome, guitar riffs are huge, and I’m not surprised that this track, when released as a single, featured in Classic Rock magazine. Keep these tracks coming! There’s definitely ‘Higher stakes and greater expectations’ for this album if the first 2 tracks are anything to go by. Don’t disappoint me please!
‘All I Own’ is a slower track, drawing me even further into the vocals of Daniels. Great track with superbly infectious chorus. ‘You are Us, We are You’ received great reviews when it was released as a single. It’s the typical hard rock track I would expect from these guys. The opening line ‘It’s been such a long time, I never thought I’d feel this way again’ really speaks to the fans, because let’s face it, without the fans there’s no point, and it seems to me that this song directly states that ‘You are Us, We are You’. Great track! Good changes in tempo, engaging hooks and enticing lyrics. One for the fans!
‘Sell me your soul and I’ll show you the way!’ proclaims Daniels in ‘Meet me Halfway’, a slightly bluesy track with a swaggering attitude that projects through both vocally and instrumentally. Get you swagger on while you sway along to this one! ‘I Lost my Mind in America’ made it to the top 10 in the iTunes chart and honestly I’m not surprised at all. It’s hard on the intro; a real party-rock tune that I expect will be a staple on anyone’s classic playlist once they hear it. It’s old school rock. It’s gritty with great depth, again offering catchy choruses.
‘All Emotions’ has a great pace to it, more catchy hooks, big choruses and the required amount of attitude to make the track soar when the riffs hit. ‘Watch it Now’ is slower in pace but the rhythm feels heavier with a much fuller bass line. The guitar driven coarse vocals really drag you in and spit you out leaving you wanting some more. ‘Ready to get Down’ is lighter, with uplifting vocals. It’s the track on the album that makes you want to crank up the volume and blow away the neighbours while you bop around the lounge singing at full volume, ‘woah woah’ croons Daniels and it would be a tragedy not to join in. The drums are crashing, the riffs are going crazy and it’s clear to see that this time around Autograph are going to make their mark and stay on the scene. Hell yeh!
Lastly, we come to the updated live track ‘Turn up the Radio’, their most well known song. We kick into the track as the audience are clapping along and Daniels is enticing them into a sing-a-long of ‘alright’, ‘ok’ whereby the audience are responding with so much vigour. I can only imagine the electric energy in that venue. The guitars are ringing out, the drums are crashing, bass is booming heavy, Daniels is churning out the familiar lyrics with his bluesy soaked vocals while the audience are in high spirits, loving every beat of the track to the point where I can hardly hear the end of the track over the whistles and chants. I can only imagine the atmosphere during this performance. Great track to bring the album to a close.
Awesome album, uplifting lyrics with huge choruses and a timeless rock attitude throughout makes this one hell of a comeback album. ‘Get off your Ass’ and listen to it! It will be released October 6th 2017.
1. Get off your Ass
2. Every Generation
3. All I Own
4. You are Us, We are You
5. Meet me Halfway
6. I Lost my Mind in America
7. All Emotions
8. Watch it Now
9. Ready to get Down
10. Turn Up the Radio