The Autumns - Le Carillon EP
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The Autumns
Le Carillon EP
(Absalom)

Despite their earlier albums falling into sort of a shoegazer/british rock category, The Autumns take a decidingly way back sound with this newest EP. Following quick on the heels of their limited 3" CD recording with the same label, the group has recorded this 4-song EP that harkens back to old time rock and roll. Think 50's prom music. It's sweet, it's saccarin, and the songs are short and basically work because of this. As said many times before, too many sweets will give you a stomach ache.

In fact, this four song release sticks to the pop-song rule (3 and a half minutes or under) on all but one track, with every other track clocking in at under 3 minutes. With "Thieves In Blue," the group sets the tone early. Chiming, lazy guitars play out nicely with very subtle percussion while lead singer Matthew Kelly wavers between sort of a dreamy croon and light falsetto. The second track "Quite" takes a little more of a modern approach with a swelling of violins and a slight bit more of an edge on the guitars, but would still feel downright antiquated (but no doubt refreshing as well) amongst the slog of mainstream radio today.

The second half of the album falls right back in line with those old 50s rock tracks and "Slow Kiss" feels like it could have been the ballad hit of the group in the movie That Thing You Do. I hear it and see a room full of kids slowly dancing (without touching midsections!) and swaying to the lulling melodies and pretty falsetto vocals of Kelly. The group even adds a bit of piano to the track and for some reason the cheesy lyrics don't feel quite so cheesy if you put yourself in the right state of mind.

As mentioned above, the EP only goes on for 12 minutes, and then it's over. That's probably a good thing, because even the least cynical listener would probably have a hard time making it through a 40 minute album of this kind of material (although maybe you'd find your parents swaying to it if they paid a visit when it was on the stereo). Even the packaging is done up old tyme style, but the band members haircuts give them away. Still, it's a nice enough little release and shows that the group can pull off some different little side projects if they want. Interesting, but not essential.

rating: 6.2510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00