Autopilot is what is known as a power trio from the hinterlands of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan Canada. Saskatchewan is a prairie province in central Canada slightly smaller than Alaska with a total population roughly the same as San Jose California. I mention this because in order to find success in music from Saskatchewan, three words come to mind. Tour, baby, tour. Autopilot released its first EP in 2005 and followed that with a full release in 2007 and their follow up didn’t hit retailers until 2013. They are back now with “Desert Dreams” and they plan to tour extensively to support the record. The band is made up of Marlon Harder, Colton Fehr and Jose A. Fuenzalida. The band has found some success outside their home turf over the years with their last release charting in both Canada and on US college charts. “Desert Dreams” debuted in Canada in the top 50 which shows a lot of promise.
The music on “Desert Dreams” is straight ahead indie alternative rock with some nice touches along the way. Marlon Harder’s vocals are distinctive and solid but maybe a touch too compressed for my taste. The guitar work compliments the vocals remarkably well and there are some experimental riffs and sounds which gives the record another interesting dimension. I hear a number of influences listening to this record, most notably a scent of some of the great art rockers in music like Genesis, or Squeeze but with a purely North American flavor. It’s a solid release from a band of Canadian journeymen musician and we wish them much success with the record. And, oh, did I mention that the album cover art is very cool.