Autograph – “Beyond”
Review: Dawn Osborne
Autograph’s latest offering “Beyond” was recorded before original member Randy Rand’s untimely passing, however features his bass playing and carries his blessing. It also features Simon Daniels (Jailhouse) on guitar and vocals, Jimi Bell (House of Lords) on lead guitar and Marc Wieland on drums.
The highly melodic ‘This Ain’t The Place I Wanna Be’ has plenty of fast eighties guitar work and chunky riffs and could easily have been an Autograph track from the old days.
Many of the tracks of the rest of the album such as the stomping ‘Your Slave Tonight’, ‘Everything’, ‘Run For Your Life’, ‘Feels So Good’ and ‘Gotta Getcha’ bear all the hallmarks of a Simon Daniels’ composition. They’re energetic and riff laden, showcasing his gritty rock n roll vocals; much deeper and rawer than those from original vocalist Steve Plunkett. Jimi Bell’s super fast proficient guitar solos enhance the compositions, complimenting and contrasting in a higher register.
‘Take Me Higher’ is slower and more of an AOR number with a Boston like classy solo from Bell.
‘Beautiful Disaster’ (an original & nothing to do with the Cheap n Nasty song of the same name) is probably my favourite track on the album with a mean right hook, a multi-layered guitar solo and killer melodies in the chorus. ‘To Be Together’ also has sophisticated harmonies and a superb solo that make it rich melodic rock of the highest order.
‘Heart Of Stone’ and ‘Love Is A Double Edge Sword’ have a Rock n Roll heart and the latter reminded me a little of the Canadian band The Pursuit of Happiness.
‘Flying High’ has a slightly funky beat to start with which gives way to a catchy chorus with a rippin vocal and a slower bluesier guitar solo.
Bonus (digital only) track ‘Mind Of Fear’ is more alternative sounding, but is still kept within Autograph territory with a finger tapping solo and harmonised vocals.
There’s no ‘Turn Up The Radio’ on this album, but that’s a very high bar. It is a highly proficient melodic rock album. Slightly heavier than old school Autograph, there are more modern influences on the album, but it remains an album that original fans of the band will definitely appreciate and prize.