Hailing from Orlando, FL, Autumn Empire is a four-piece band consisting of Stephanie Brooks (vocals), Victor Randle (bass), Dexter Gatehouse (drums) and James Emory (guitar). They recently released a three-song EP entitled Bacon & Guns, which to my knowledge is their first EP. It makes sense since the band at this point is stylistically all over the place. They seem to be testing out the waters a bit and flirting with genres such as ska, funk and rock. My first thoughts were that this seems like a band that excels at performing live. Not matter what style they play it’s full of energy and seems like they are genuinely having a fun time. Even the little picture they have on their Bandcamp page is indicative of a band that likes to get the audience out of their seats.
The first track on the EP is called “Bounty,” which starts with a thematic intro that quickly transitions to upbeat a ska song that is twice as fast. It reminded me of ska bands like The Mighty Mighty Bosstones and Goldfinger. Brooks’ singing is confident, dynamic and holds your attention. There weren't too many surprises as the song progressed. It was a solid song but not mind blowing.
“Cotally Tould've” was the highlight of the EP. The vibe here leans more towards punk and the energy and sound is comparable to another female-fronted band called Pretty Girls Make Graves. Brooks sounds great and delivers memorable vocal harmonies. The band is also in top form as they come at you hard with the heaviest riffs on the EP. They sounded good with the poppy ska vibe but I preferred the hardcore edge they have here.
The last song is called “Waffles (for Anthony Kiedis)” but I thought it should have been for Flea because the slap bass sounds like something he would have played on a Red Hot Chili Peppers album. You’ve probably already come to the conclusion the song is pretty funky and it is. That being said the style seemed the least effective to my ears.
The EP is a bit light but don’t worry because the band is already at work on their first full length. Hopefully, they dig into the punk sound that delved into on their second track.
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