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AUTOGRAPH Get Off Your Ass

By Ruben Mosqueda, Contibutor
Tuesday, September 19, 2017 @ 2:20 PM


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AUTOGRAPH
Get Off Your Ass

EPM Label Group 2017




Ruben Mosqueda Frontman Steve Plunkett has long left the Pasadena, CA based act AUTOGRAPH; he found greener pastures writing tunes for television and such. Plunkett before he departed for good gave the remaining members of AUTOGRAPH his blessing to press forward. There are many parallels between QUIET RIOT and AUTOGRAPH, the singer was the ‘voice’ of the band but also the face of the group. The first U.S. release was the band’s ‘hit’. QUIET RIOT had Metal Health and AUTOGRAPH had Sign In Please. Both bands had so-so follow-up albums. QUIET RIOT released Condition Critical and AUTOGRAPH issued That’s The Stuff and lastly, both acts issued keyboard heavy 3rd efforts with QR III and Loud And Clear respectively before the their respective wheels fell off. I will say that I hold Loud And Clear in higher regard mainly due to the ‘riffage’ and play of [guitarist] Steve Lynch on that album.

Fast forward to 2017 where we find AUTOGRAPH issuing new music as a four piece. The band features founding members Steve Lynch, bassist Randy Rand and they are joined by drummer Marc Weiland and singer Simon Daniels [previously known as Danny Simon when he was in the band JAILHOUSE with the ROUGH CUTT guys sans [singer] Paul Shortino and [guitarist] Chris Hagar]. You change the singer, you change the dynamic of the band--if you’re not getting a ‘clone’. AUTOGRAPH did just that when they brought in a singer with a cleaner vocal that leans more toward the AOR side of things and quite frankly suits the band better. To give us a little preview of what to expect they added “Turn Up The Radio” in live form to close out Get Off Your Ass. No question the track was ‘sweetened’ as the crowd sounds could have easily been culled from a GUNS ‘N ROSES show rather than an M3 or Monsters Of Rock Cruise appearance. The rest of the track is relatively raw, punchy and captures a ‘live’ atmosphere in spite of the pumped in noise.

Get Off Your Ass is an extension of the Louder EP that the band issued earlier, so if you’ve heard the EP you’re aware that the production has its fair share of issues; the drums lack punch, the bass gets buried in the mix and there’s little bottom end, which in my opinion is essential in rock ‘n’ roll music. Lynch’s guitar sounds ferocious and some of the riffs are downright incredible. Simon sounds fantastic. If the songs were there the production could be forgiven but there simply isn’t enough of them to make a strong record. The best stuff on Get Off Your Ass is the tile track, “You Are Us, We Are You”, which is incredibly catchy [see AOR comment mentioned previously], and “Meet Me Halfway”. If there was more of this on the album, I do think this band would have a solid effort on their hands. Get Off Your Ass is simply a ‘good’ album, which isn’t too bad considering the band was left for dead ages ago or can it?

3.0 Out Of 5.0

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