It’s been a very long time since I’ve had anything nice to say about Autograph, is this the album to set the record straight?
Written by: gdmonline
LABEL: Frontiers SRL
SERIAL: FRCD 1251
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
LINEUP: Simon Daniels – lead vocals * Jimi Bell – guitars * Randy Rand – bass * Marc Wieland – drums
TRACK LISTING: 01 This Ain’t The Place I Wanne Be * 02 Your Slave Tonight * 03 Everything * 04 Gotta Getcha * 05 Take Me Higher * 06 Run For Your Life * 07 Beautiful Disaster * 08 Love Is A Double Edge Sword * 09 Heart Of Stone * 10 Feels So Good * 11 Flying High * 12 To Be Together * 13 Mind Of Fear (Bonus Track)
WEBLINKS: Site Link
It’s been a very long time since I’ve had anything complementary to say about the band Autograph. Is this the album to set the record straight? The rot set in during 2003 with their’ Buzz’ album and things got progressively worse over the years. It’s not helped by the absence of the majority of the original band with the exception of bassist Randy Rand who recorded the album at the end of 2021 but passed away in late April 2022. The record was eventually released in November 2022.
L-R: Rand, Bell, Daniels, Wieland
If I can say this about Autograph, the presence of guitar meister Jimi Bell (House Of Lords) and drummer Marc Wieland gives the band ample power. It really becomes apparent after listening to and watching the video for the first track ‘This Ain’t The Place I Wanne Be’. These two guys are behemoths of their profession.
‘Your Slave Tonight’ sits at the raw end of hard rock, ‘Everything’ has some decent soloing but there’s no trademark fingerboard tapping to be found. ‘Gotta Getcha’ is a rabble rouser in the same way that 90’s and noughties era Quiet Riot was. ‘Take Me Higher’ was a highlight, sort of power anthem topped by a great chorus. However, the middle section proved to be a bit of a tough slog, neither ‘Run For Your Life’ or ‘Beautiful Disaster’ held any claim on my memory bank.
‘Love Is A Double Edge Sword’ had all the impact of a blunt blade, while ‘Heart Of Stone’ reinforced my observation that great guitar solos cannot save what are a collection of less than average songs. ‘Feels So Good’ is an improvement, a fluid rocker. More of these would’ve been better for the quality of the album overall. The last couple of tracks I can take or leave it.
I will admit that ‘Beyond’ is a much better album than I thought it would be, as I was really predicting the worst so that says something, but still it’s a let-down for me. Let’s remember though that 2022 Autograph is not the same as 1984-1987 Autograph. Musically it’s something different, in hindsight, Randy should’ve ditched the name when Steve Lynch departed in 2019, and left the Autograph legacy intact.
So, where does that leave the state of this band now that there are no original members left? I understand Lynch has had something to say about this on Social Media, so it may very well spell the end of the band completely, probably for business and continuity reasons alone. That must be a good thing surely? Time to wrap up the legacy of this once great band.
This Ain’t The Place I Wanne Be
Take Me Higher
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[Dangerzone] Without this review I wouldn’t have a clue this album (and band) existed. To continue calling themselves Autograph is a joke, like so many other bands in the same position. I listened to it all the same, faceless hard rock for the most part that has nothing in common with 80’s Autograph. I mean who’s buying this crap or even streaming it?
[RKBluez] I know it’s not Autograph but I liked it…and probably shouldn’t of been released under that moniker but its good straight forward retro hard rock with some good songs and great guitar work from Jimi Bell…Randy would of wanted the CD to come out and I’m glad for one it did.
Would love to see Jimi get back with Chris & B.J. and do a killer new Maxx Explosion CD…and see Steve Lynch maybe throw a new Autograph together… really miss his guitar magic.