Hair Metal Mansion correspondent DAWN OSBOURNE checks in with the following:
The revitalised Autograph have been making quite a splash lately with the release of three new singles last year, numerous live triumphs at huge festivals in America and Europe and a launch party for this new EP at the Whisky on the Strip, the home of many happy memories related to the history of the band. When Steve Lynch and Randy Rand met a couple of years ago after a long absence they both realised they still had the energy and passion for everything Autograph stood and stands for and decided to reform. Steve Plunkett, the original vocalist, busy with his own projects gave them his blessing to re-launch. This EP, LOUDER released as a CD available at Autographband.com contains the three singles from last year, new song 'Watch It Now' and a live version of 'Turn Up The Radio' featuring the now very established, but newer members of the band Simon Daniels and Marc Weiland.
This, however, is not a tribute album or nostalgia trip. The band decided not to replace the irreplaceable original keyboard player Steve Isham who died and to come back with a heavier more guitar orientated and modern sound, albeit with rock anthems for which the band is known. This was always a band where the skills of guitarist extraordinaire Steve Lynch were of great importance and they have made a wise decision to play to their strengths. The deep and rich bluesy testosterone filled tones of vocalist Simon Daniels together with the driving combined power of bassist Randy Rand and drummer Marc Weiland make this a gig to be remembered. Absent the materialistic concerns of the eighties, this band are here to knock them out of the park because that is what they want to do. The band are back to represent real musicianship and integrity and to play huge arenas with anthems because of the people, not the profit.
The first song on the ep "You are us We are you' picks up on this special relationship the band have with their fans and the recent success of events like the Monsters of Rock Cruise demonstrating that the fans of real music such as the kind Autograph plays are still all there, they never went away and this history and culture is a unique relationship uniting band and people which is very apparent when the band plays live. As usual Steve Lynch comes up with original spectacular guitar licks, but the other boys enhance the meatier down n dirty rock n roll edge of this new material. The next track 'I lost my mind in America' has the same rock n roll feel but has an aor-style spectacularly catchy chorus which stands up there with any Foreigner or Yes track you'd care to mention whilst being utterly original with a rock n roll kick in the rear in the verse. It's a big sound anthem with lyrical guitar, but enriched with the wisdom and perspective life experience has brought to the band coming from the longtime experience of working in the music industry and discovering what's important in life. Third single "Every Generation' comments further on this theme. The song underlines the continuing spirit of rock n roll that never dies despite life's adversities and contains another storming solo from Mr Lynch. And the final new track on the ep 'Watch It Now', heavily influenced by new vocalist Simon Daniels is redolent of some of his earlier work with bands like Flood, showing this is indeed a new animal and a real collaboration of unique talents to produce big arena rock with a modern twist while still keeping that unmistakeable guitar solo work from Mr Lynch without which an Autograph track would not be complete. And to show that the band have not strayed too far away from their original material the last track on the ep is a live version of the much loved 'Turn up the Radio' with that unmistakeable and perfect lead guitar solo which is ensconced in rock history and a faultless performance from the band. However, once again it has the unmistakeable mark of Mr Daniels who is simply too full of talent and charisma not to make his mark. It is a fabulous demonstration of what these guys can achieve building on history with the courage to push boundaries. Quite simply unmissable!!! Don't be late to this party!! Get it while you can!!!
Courtesy of Hair Metal Mansion, www.hairbangersradio.ning.com