'Temporary'- Track Review
The arrested development of seasonal change, provides a chance for well-considered electioneering from barn-storming quartet.
Availability: 'Temporary' is available now at: http://theautumnkind.bandcamp.com/album/cartography
4-piece bands are probably as old as Tom Jones' chest hair clippers...
and like the rather put-upon follicle trimmers, the nature of musical quartets has been subject to prosperity, entropy and hairy times. The '60s is probably when the beautiful baby boy was born forth. There were some rather sticky formative years; prepubescent struggle occurred at the arrival of the 1970s. During the 1980s, with one or two exceptions, it went completely off of the rails, before finding love, growing up, and settling down during the early '90s. Time, fortune and fashions have passed, and over the last 10 years or so there has been a somewhat mixed bag of success in the market. The most successful and memorable wards of the state, tend to err on the heavier side; force and conviction are favoured over melodic and demure.
The circadian rythms of the scene have scene a lot of movement happening towards the north- particularly the Manchester and Leeds areas. There has been a lot of a much of a muchness. With all the faux-heartbroken front-men, swooning precociously about their disgraced former-beau, dragged asunder by the forces of melancholy and ill-fate. To be honest there is a little bit of a stale smell forming in the kitchen. It is about time someone cracked a window, and breathed some fresh life into the mix. Aside from the proclivities and swaggering there is something happening elsewhere.
The Autmnkind, are, in their own words a "melodic leftfield rock" assemble; and consist front-man Marc Ozall, drummer Simon Treasure, guitarist Adam Lunn, and bass player Martin Bradford-Gago. They released debut E.P. 'The Shipping Forecast' way back in 2009; following an impressive period playing some of London's top venues. They managed to toppled Michael Jackson and Robbie Williams in the Amazon download charts, and following on from their second release 'Words and Sounds', they entered choppier, rockier waters. Following some tumultuous band changes over the next few months, including the departure of their bass player. After some negotiations and good fortune, a new, strengthened band was created, and a new lease of life and invigoration provided. In 2012, the band headed into the studio to begin work on their E.P. 'Cartography'. It was unleashed into the public domain in August of last year, and has been gathering new fans, steady press and repeated plays amongst a loyal base. New followers have flocked to see the band perform, and it seems that the solid and revitalised group have an extraordinary confidence and ambition to them. They have a keen eye for names and design as well. I often have postulated in my head what the 'Autumnkind' refers to. It sounds like the kind of name, Hollywood whackos such as Tom Cruise would name their daughter; were any woman foolish enough to let that happen. A much cooler scenario would be former-Detective Autumnkind. I'd imagine a grizzled rogue cop, drummed out of the force for not 'playing by the rules'. He would while away many a day, cigarette hanging from his mouth, staring from his London window, surveying the citizens below. Any day now, he would get the call from a desperate band of computer hackers, duped and tricked into a sticky situation they did not envisage. If only there were a man who could pound the streets, shake the lapels of all the loyal scum, in a noble, fervent bid to get results and answers. He would have his own show, and a suitably kick-ass theme song. Anyway, I digress! I'll let the songs, or in this instance, song, do the theatrical, filmic talking.
With the intriguing and mysterious E.P. cover, and curious batch of awesome tunes, I am focusing my attentions on the ironically-named 'Temporary'. I say 'ironically', as the indelible impression the track will leave in your hippocampus. The song is the penultimate track of the E.P. and begins with plaintive and explorative strum, it has an instant, subcutaneous allure. It is an intriguing and sweet guitar call. It reminded me of Jeff Buckley, and his early days wowing stunned audiences in the New York coffee house of Sin-e. There is also some The Bends-era Radiohead, and that influence, complete with an updated and cutting edge, adds authority and a huge credence to the intro. It is dreamy, with a country edge; beckoning with a soul fleck; an intertwining polygamia in its rock ambitions. The pulsing, break dance of guitar that enters the fray, shakes the cobwebs away, and invigorates a rush of blood to the head. It is the band's Socratic Method of teaching their contemporaries, how to create a simple and effective intro. It runs a similar line, curiously, to that of Queen of the Stone Age's 'No One Knows'. It has that same bounce and pogo punch to it, albeit a little less muted. We have whizzed and perambulated from '90s New York, to '00s California, via '70s London in the space of a short, few seconds. Perhaps there is a little bit of 'Chelsea Dagger' to the closing stages too. There promises to be a forthcoming singalong afoot, and the musical tapestry defies you not to throw your chair across the room and dance, regardless of how crazy it makes you look. Marc has a smooth and mature edge to his voice, and enunciates with clarity. The issue I have with a lot of bands is that they garble words, or bury them under a rubble of noise and chord progression. If you can't well hear the lyrics, you only are aware of, and able to evaluate about half of the song. There is a pleasingly credible pop tone to the delivery as well. There is no brutish barbed-wired delivery, which so many employ, needlessly. It means that the sentiments and home truths resonate much clearly and with more heart, thus creating a more potent emotional response. Take the following: "... I can't get it through to you/My petal/You're not going to get your way". The context suggests disharmony and a rather painful and complicated back-story between out hero and and out-of-favour former sweetheart. The content suggests a sharp tongue and a sarcastic wit. There has been a dissapropriation in the home town and our front-man is sending a clear message to our anonymous heroin(e). The vocal tones have, I'd dare say- and not in a demeaning way- elements of McFly. Those bobble-headed pop bozos were demonstrative and ineffectual to a tee, but had a knack of being able to convey a pure, populist manifesto, and make their irrelevant sentiments, stick. Marc and the boys have a mature, intelligent, and bon-mot infused wit, and are able to punctuate their sentiments, with a glorious simplicity and effectiveness. In the same way that there are stoner rock knuckles, able to cohabitate with genuine '90s U.S. rock, they also can co-mingle classic British rock with a modernised pop-rock template. When it is said that "I could tell you that I'm sorry/But you know that it's a lie", the atmosphere is light and melodic, supporting the earnest and honest sentiments, profess. The sound manages to stay within the borders of '60s pop, and modern rock; displaying no inferiority or signs of weakness. The band support their brother with fraternal understanding. The percussion is not too heavy-handed; instead it keeps an emotional heartbeat constant, and keeps the track level and straight-thinking. The guitar and bass work are statesmen-like and solid. Between them, they manage to conjure a sonic transmogrification that shifts the mood, from 1:20-1:28. The energy and strut keeps going hard, never missing a beat, and as the intriguing-cum-mysterious lines, "I'm only/A metaphor/For your direction" are stretched and syncopated, it adds another colour to the palette. The lyrics are not phoned in or given little consideration as to their pronunciation and delivery. Certain words and lines are infused with energy; others allowed to relax; alliteration here, modulation there. This means that there is a constant thoughtfulness and shape-shifting. The chorus is breezy and tinged with sunshine, which combined with the lyrical theme, gives it a white and blue collar appeal, and brings a smile to your face, whether that is the band's intention, or not. The entire track is a little under 3:50, and it seems much shorter when listening, making it memorable, tight and a little bit of a tease.
'Temporary' is a fine and noble cut from the E.P. It is usually the track 'Glasshouses' that gathers most attention and plaudit (and it is a similarly brilliant track). 'Temporary' is neatly placed at the 3/4 mark, and acts as a propulsive and fresh sound, following 'Glasshouses' more serious and emotional nature; and comes before the harder, trippier sound of E.P. swansong, 'Time Will Tell'. I was thoroughly impressed by The Autumnkind's creative annals. They have endured a tough upbringing, with a changeable roster of members, and a bumpy road. They have a bright, promising future, and have a sound and popular edge that will see them transcend the boundaries of rock and pop, and unite and invigorate any tired camps, hungry for new tones and a fresh impetus. If you have a few spare moments, then they deserve a lot of attention, and based solely on the strength of 'Temporary'; they will be gaining...
... a large, new following.