Monday, 5 March 2012

Review: Outliers

Outliers - Neon Leon (Independent)
From New Berlin, Wisconsin (it’s in the Greater Milwaukee area, geography fans), the Outliers play a fiery brand of indie rock, inspired and influenced by ‘60s garage dwellers, ‘70s punk, ‘80s alternative and a heap of contemporary bands who most likely share many of the same tastes. If you’re thinking you’ve possibly heard this sort of thing before, you’d be correct, but here’s the thing; the Outliers bring so much vitality, vivacity and vim to their new record, you’re more than willing to forgive the more obvious reference points. And as for the live setting, I imagine they’re an absolute blast of primal rock ‘n’ roll energy, though I might have to visit New Berlin to find out for sure.

The album begin with “Chambray Collar”, a full throttle Strokes-esque rocker, with some gloriously ragged guitar and vocalist Sam Figie finding his voice immediately. It’s followed by “The Letter”, which seems to borrow a little from both Vampire Weekend and those early Television bootlegs when Richard Hell was in the band, but there’s nothing lo-fi or muddy about the mix, as it jumps from the speakers. The yelped vocals and stuttering post-punk guitar on “Encounter” are enveloping and joyful, and the undulating “I'll Try Tonight” is rhythmically disconcerting with drummer Alex Grzendzielewski and bass player Matt Blank showing off their dub grooves, and counting to four in diverse and fascinating ways.
Simon M.

Outliers: Neon Leon

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