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Autograph - 2003 Buzz

ARTIST: Autograph
LABEL: Point Music
YEAR: 2003


LINEUP: Steve Plunkett - vocals, guitar, keyboards * T.J. Helmerich - guitar * Lance Morrison - bass * Matt Laug - drums

TRACK LISTING: 01 Break And Sweat * 02 Shake The Tree * 03 She's The Reason * 04 Fed Up With Bein' Down * 05 That * 06 Party Like We Did * 07 Buzz * 08 Like It Hot * 09 Heart Raper * 10 Can't Stop Rockin'

When this was released back in 2003, I honestly thought nobody took any notice. A great band back in the day, but Steve Plunkett really should've left Autograph to retire gracefully, rather than to wheel it out unceremoniously. In effect, 'Buzz' should be Plunk's second solo album, because he's the only original member left. Sure, the guys that have joined him are pretty decent musos, especially T.J Helmerich, but a Steve Lynch he ain't, and Autograph were all about team work and an identifiable and unique sound which was all theirs. The 2003 rendition goes nowhere fast, unless you are a fan of Def Leppard and Enuff Znuff who at this juncture on the timeline were dying a slow death too, so it seems a lot of deckchair swapping on the Titanic was seen among some of these bands during the 2002/2003 period. Signed to Euro rock label Point Music, Plunkett's version of Autograph didn't even have the wherewithall to at least provide the American audience with a local copy of the CD!

The Songs
I didn't find anything on this record to be enthused about to be honest. I was never a fan of Plunk's voice, and with so much of the original dynamic of the previous version of the band missing, this could be any other band in operation. Helmerich taps his way all through this album, I'm not really sure what he's trying to prove, his parts sound horrible, and the production overall is two nickels short of a dime. 'Shake The Tree' is a reasonable attempt at re-creating history, but in all honesty the band sound much closer to Enuff Znuff's party pop material. 'Fed Up With Bein' Down' is just too close to Def Leppard it's not funny. Plunkett goes from original to copycat. The same goes for the mip-tempo 'That', another Lepp repeat, and by now the buzz has been completely snuffed out. The title track 'Buzz' would have to be one of the worst songs committed to the Autograph name ever, and just when I thought it was all over, the band lift their game for the AC/DC meets Brian MacDonald rock of 'Like It Hot'. Much better. Then they turn things on their head with the ridiculously titled 'Heart Raper'! WTF. The song itself is pretty poor, the chorus is embarrassing. The last song 'Can't Stop Rockin' is ironic, by now they should've got the message that they should indeed toss it in and stop rockin' and spare us any more dross.

In Summary
Plunkett should've been put in stocks for releasing such rubbish, and pelted with rotten tomatoes for his efforts. As was expected, 'Buzz' was reduced to an inaudible drone by the time the year was out, and normal service was resumed. Best left tot the 80's, you're best bet is to procure the first three studio albums between 1984 and 1987, and remember the band in their prime, rather than this crap. R.I.P Steve Isham.

Related Articles
Autograph - 1984 Sign In Please
Autograph - 1985 That's The Stuff
Autograph - 1987 Loud and Clear
Autograph - 1997 Missing Pieces
Autograph - 2003 Buzz

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