The Autumns claim as formative influences bands like the Smiths and Stone Roses, and both are obviously present here from the first cut, “Turning Strangers into Friends and Friends into Customers,” a swirling, sonic wall of wailing. Overall, the album follows that kind of soaring, “big” pattern—alternative rock intended for arenas. For example, Glass Jaw is a high energy tear that must be fantastic live. Like many ’90s alternative tunes–in the tradition of Nirvana, The Breeders, etc.–it moves tireless forward through its chorus, which is more guitar than lyrics, but instead of doing the standard slow/fast/slow/fast common to this style of music, the song simply plows forward until the last few seconds, where it brings the listener down gradually into a really sweet fade out.
A few other cuts, like “Clem” in particular, skate too close along the edge of the kind of ball-less whining some call twee, and the album lost me a few times because of that. But there’s enough variety here that they’d win me back soon enough. Especially since Matt Kelly’s vocals have to be heard to be believed.
Sadly, the tune they’re offering for free download is Boys. Big mistake. Glass Jaw should sell this record.