Autumn Walker is an alternative rock band based in San Marcos, Texas. This four-piece group is comprised of Lodin Fortenberry (vocalist and guitarist), Dan Flynn (drummer and backup vocalist), Cameron Barber (guitarist) and Jake O'Brien (bassist). Their debut EP Conversations was released in August last year, but these guys aren’t messing around. The band has already started pre-production on their next record, somehow finding the time while performing live shows and leading their hectic lives.
Their six-track EP opens with “Killing Time.” Driven by a throbbing, measured and ‘head-bop-inducing’ beat, this pop-punk-esque opener progresses through chugging, muted guitar chords and vocals reminiscent of Blink 182, if they were, perhaps, a more serious and structured band. I mean this as a compliment paid to Autumn Walker, as these guys have clearly spent time honing and perfecting their own unique sound. Screeching, sliding lead electric guitar guides us into a brutal chorus, defined by Fortenberry’s angst-fueled, yet somehow simultaneously restrained vocals. The emotions are all there, which is integral to this genre of teen-orientated music.
The climactic outro, in particular, caught my attention. A satisfying crescendo of crashing drums, powerful power chords and the mantra: “What’s on my mind? / It’s killing time.” Now that I think about it, perhaps that doesn’t sound very optimistic or uplifting in text-form, but it comes across in quite an upbeat manner in musical form. Honestly.
“Back Of My Head” increases the tempo. Again, more pop-punk tendencies shine through, but this track opts for more of a rock-heavy performance, rather than the emotive piece the opener strove to be. Punchy drums, frantically-strummed guitar chords and anthem-level chanting (at a rapid, catchy pace, might I add) of “What’s going on in that little head? / When these blue eyes start seeing red” leads into an equally-catchy, satisfying guitar solo. This imbues me with a sense of nostalgia, even though I’ve never heard this band before. They sound as if they’d fit perfectly in the ‘90s, alongside Sum 41 and the other classics, but they also avoid the pitfall of sounding outdated. “Back Of My Head” is the track which I’d love to see in a live environment.
“Short Stacks,” however, adopts a slightly slower pace and a ballad-esque chord progression. The distorted, chugging power chords remain, but the vocals are tempered, melodic, emotional and reflective. The melody is in more of a pop anthem rather than a rock anthem manner. This was one of the highlights of the album, in my opinion. It’s a combination of everything about their sound that they’ve absolutely nailed.
Autumn Walker definitely have some potential as an indie band. They just need to keep pushing to greater heights and striving to pave a unique and original path through the competitive music industry.
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