AUTOGRAPH is set to release Get Off Your Ass (EMP Label Group, October 6), their first studio album in 14 years, and first with new singer/rhythm guitarist Simon Daniels. Along with Daniels, also joining original members Steve Lynch (lead guitar) and Randy Rand (bass) is Marc Wieland on drums. And while he is not the original singer, this album reflects how well Daniels fits in with this band.
The first song “Get Off Your Ass”, starts off hard, heavy, and loud! This track definitely comes at you screaming with a vengeance that AUTOGRAPH is back. The rhythm guitar is loud and crunchy while Lynch’s lead guitar has some killer licks and riffs throughout. I also love the message this song gets across; I mean who sits at concerts?! Especially great heavy metal concerts where the energy is high and the music is headbanging good!
The tight harmonies in “Every Generation” are spot on and show how well this lineup plays together. What other genre of music can combine melodic harmonies with heavy metal?!? The bass and drums tie together with Lynch’s lead guitar to create such a catchy tune! This is a fun track with killer harmonies. “All I Own,” is the only ballad on the album and shows off Daniels’ softer vocal side. Although he has a softer tone in this track, he still maintains the edge and slight grit in his voice. The solo definitely encompasses the passion that goes well with this one.
Daniel’s voice seems to find the fine line between smooth and gritty in “You Are Us, We Are You.” Lynch’s lead guitar licks in the background add a great element to the song and his solo showcases his talent very well. This track also seems to send the message of appreciation the group has toward their fans. The incredible harmonies between members in this band come back full force in “I Lost My Mind in America,” along with showing off the melodic nature of Simon’s voice. Lynch’s guitar techniques and solo in this song are possibly the best on the entire album.
“Watch it Now,” has to be the song that gets you moving the most. Listening to this one you will likely find yourself bopping around and banging your head. The heavy, prominent rhythm guitar riffs between lines give this number a groovy rhythm. “Ready to Get Down,” is a great final track (technically anyway, it’s the last new song on the album) as it gets you pumped to hear more from them and see them live! Having caught them earlier this year in Dallas, I can truthfully say they are still a great, fun, energetic band live.
The last track on the album is a live version of their timeless hit “Turn Up the Radio.” Between the previous song and this live rendition you will definitely be itching to see them in person. It is highly recommended that you do! All in all this album is a great debut for Simon Daniels, showing that he has what it takes to be the frontman for AUTOGRAPH with his killer vocals and great personality. I certainly hope Get Off Your Ass will be the first of many more to come from this lineup of the band, which is second only to the original.
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Get Off Your Ass”, “All I Own”, “Ready to Get Down”