Album Review Outgo Smack Bang In The Middle



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Produced by Peter Koppes with David trump and Outgo, mixed by David Trump and Peter Koppes, this debut album partly recorded at Spacejunk, sparkles with confidence, distinction and memorable melody. Following up an initial four song E.P. ‘Hope’ (all featured here).


Opening strongly with ‘Watershed’, their ability to enchant then unfold with energy bursts instantly gives them the live band dynamic often glossed over, particularly on debuts, in favour of studio trickery and artificial sheen – here they boldly sound like a stunning live band excellently captured. ‘Chaos’ – no, not that ‘Chaos’, drives ahead with purpose. ‘Love And Hate’ opens gently with atmosphere and a focused soundscape dropping down to a gentler section before building back up with refreshing looseness and a crisp acoustic strum, a real stand out track, stunning for a debut album.


Many bands embrace the ‘Simmer and explode’ song structure but see its appeal diminish over a whole album. Thankfully Outgo have in their locker much more than simple dynamic tricks. On ‘All Of This Time’, the build is subtle and on reaching a potential switching point…..they end the song. A different and welcome approach to a song with a strong vocal melody and gradually flourishes on its steady incline. ‘Her’, despite the big choruses there’s a refreshing lightness to Outgo’s sound - well-textured bass melodies, crisp assured drumming and an avoidance of sluggish, dragging tempos give it all an instantly likeable projection. ‘Hope’ a little more intense, the broad vocal projections of the chorus effectively offer another dimension to their sound. Distinctive vocal sounds either grate on the listener or bring character to the bands sound; thankfully the latter is the case here. ‘Things You Don’t Do’ has an opening that would feel at home on ‘Joshua Tree’, towards the end of the song an instrumental section builds up to an impressive new level again avoiding sounding stodgy and bulky.


Time’ is instantly memorable with dreamy vocals and would make a fine single. The instrumental section has character and distinction, which gives the band another dimension in an indie rock genre full of bands intent on rushing to the chorus at the expense of establishing any musical identity along the way.


Light’ continues the expressive confidence, a synth string intro joined by melodic acoustic guitar with chunky yet fluid bass and later adding a more intense guitar soaring to a dynamic climax.


Beautiful’ opens with guitar and vocals at a slow tempo and stays in this calm, gentle style throughout, winding down the album with a relaxed but not insignificant ballad. Piano and synth strings further expand the musical palate to play out the song.


Importantly Outgo’s sound often retains a freshness – a lightness, which projects a ‘prettiness’ and firm grasp of texturising that would usually be absent from a young bands debut album.


An obvious question would be, “How much of an influence did Peter have and in what ways?” but it’s worth blending any theories with another thought, “What was is about Outgo that attracted him to work with them?” The truth probably lays within a partial fusion of the two – they had something about them that he liked and was close to his favoured styles and musical philosophies and that he was similarly appealing to them for the same reasons and his involvement continued these shared philosophies and has helped to influence the way in which a set of fine material has been so well presented, driven, generally up-tempo indie-rock with subtle alternative twists given a bright open projection with more character and distinction than you would usually expect to find on a debut album. Peter has himself commented, “the soulful music of Outgo inspired me to want to produce their EP ‘Hope’ and I am glad to have been able to help reveal the depth and beauty of these songs. Hope is a sentiment when undertaking projects and glorious has been this bands achievement.”

Radio friendly and instantaneous, it is not however without distinctive charm, featuring atmospheric instrumental parts and intro’s and not being afraid to stand still for a moment and explore the textures within the song it gives them a significant edge over the legions of other new bands with good material and bright dynamics. In ‘Time’ and ‘Love And Hate’ alongside others like ‘All Of This Time’ and ‘Things You Don’t Do’, they have a couple of gems that leave you with high hopes for a follow up.




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