I sat down to write this review after turning off the ball game on the TV; I will try not to let my anger at watching the Blue Jays' pummel the Baltimore Orioles color my opinion of the new one from Toronto's The Autumn Stones. Escapists, the new album from The Autumn Stones, is out now. I'm a bit late to the party with this one too, having followed the band's earlier stuff.
Things kick off with the Springsteen-recalling "Time is a River" with its blazing sax leading the charge into classic alt-rock territory. One of the strengths of this band is the way they put together some rather disparate influences in a fresh and surprising way. Earlier single "Endless War" is here too and it sits nicely next to the near-epic "End of Faith" which recalls both The Waterboys and the Psychedelic Furs in some odd way. Less obviously buoyant than some of the band's other tunes, it is, however, a really fine piece of work with some rather serious lyrical concerns.
The spry "In with the Out Crowd" makes an appearance and it's followed by the lyrical "Sweet Libertine" which expertly shifts gears and shows another side of the band's music. "Spirit Shadows" is a rockin' racket, while "Ooh La La" is a down-tempo number that rides off into the sunset on a great hook.
Escapists ends with the lilting "Creatures" and the more robust "Dark Age" with its sax-led rave-up. If you only know the singles from The Autumn Stones, you'll be pleasantly surprised with Escapists and the range of styles on display in these tunes. Piecing together influences from earlier eras of indie and alternative rock with some unique hooks, The Autumn Stones make music that bears serious attention. Fun and thought-provoking, these 9 tunes make Escapists such a worthy album.
Follow The Autumn Stones on their official website. Escapists is out now and you can get started by playing it below and then ordering via the band's Bandcamp page.