Experimental LA Rockers The Outline have been gaining quite a bit of press attention of late, after touring with everybody and anybody including the likes of Panic At The Disco, The Rocket Summer, Say Anything, Envy On The Coast and Polysics, the Fearless Records band have finally got around to releasing their debut album ‘You Smash It, We’ll Build Around It.
The band themselves are somewhat of an interesting concoction, describing themselves as somewhere between Head Automatica and Interpol. Others have said they have an element of The Killers about them and to this I would agree, although with a little more punch. Throw in a bit of classic teen pop rock, i.e., the sort that wouldn’t be out of place on an episode of the O.C and you’ve pretty much got The Outline.
From only a few tracks in it’s easy to see that The Outline won’t have trouble finding a little success, the songs are not especially groundbreaking but they are catchy, well written and they will certainly appeal to those that like their music, shall I say, easy on the ear. It’s pop music of course, that’s what it’s there for, with a bit of added dance-ability, a few power chords and the right attitude it may also appeal to those that want a cooler i.e., less commercial version of The Killers.
As with many new bands and debut albums though, the lack of hooks and memorable sing-along choruses won’t do them any favours. It may be that it just needs a few repeat listens, as many albums that don’t grab you straight away can sometimes turn into pretty good growers.
As for highlight’s, I personally think ‘Shotgun’ stands out pretty well, it’s got more of a ferocious energy about it, it’s a little more jagged and full of attitude. We’re even encroaching on The Hives territory here I think, the same goes for ‘Sloppy Drunk’ and ‘My Masked Lust’. These tracks have a definite differing sound and energy, sounding less like easy listening and more like a band that wants to rock.
On that note, I think my least favourite track would have to be ‘Perfect For The Plain’, the song just doesn’t make sense to me and there’s a strange Jazz piano interlude that sounds strangely like the intro to a well known TV show, or maybe that’s just me….
Unfortunately the album really does tail out for me and as for the last track ‘Broadway And Hurst’, I couldn’t get the thing off quickly enough.
You Smash It, We’ll Build Around It is an odd sounding album, rocky and full of energy in places, bland and forgetful in others. It’s certainly up and down and I’m not sure it’s actually strong enough to retain their recent spate of attention. Head Automatica and Interpol it certainly is not.