UK duo THE AUTUMN KILLERS were formed back in 2019, and following the initial EP “Dance Floor Mayhem” in 2020 the band concluded their recording activities with the second EP “Acoustic & Autumnised” towards the end of the year. The first of these EPs showcased their abilities as a rock band, while the second one explored the same material in an acoustic setting, in addition to adding a cover version of the evergreen song “The Power of Love”
The types of songs here range between being more blues-oriented, more post-punk oriented and being straight forward ballads on this EP. Subtle nuances in pace, tempo and intensity is what gives different associations here, with the acoustic guitar and the piano the main instruments. Orchestral backing and strings are liberally used throughout to add a majestic, cinematic coating to the material, and on some of the songs drums are added to the mix as well.
What makes or breaks this album is that the bands have set up the material here to be vehicles for the lead vocals of Rob Reece. His slightly raspy voice is a fine one for emotionally driven material, and he’s got a powerful voice as well. His choice of pitch and tone doesn’t always agree with my taste for vocals though, and his singing is a bit on the loose end of the controlled spectrum as well. Pitch, tone and intensity will all be aspects of the vocals that in this case will be matters of subjective taste in my opinion, and for my sake at least the vocals aren’t able to carry and elevate the total experience in the same manner as a more gifted and developed singer would be able to. I also note that the drums, when present, are a tad too mechanical and one-dimensional, to the point of being borderline detrimental.
For my sake at least this all adds up to an EP I’d describe as a decent production. Pleasant songs and pleasant moods, some bits and pieces that shine a bit brighter but not the kind of music that begs for extended and repeated plays. Those who really love the combination of acoustic rock backed by an orchestral arrangement strikes me as the key audience for this EP, with individual taste in the lead vocal department as the deciding factor determining if this is a good or a great production overall.
My rating: 60/100