I am always attracted to music that mixes it up. Hard driving verse, symphonic bridge, jazz based interlude, etc, when combined with fine songwriting is what makes bands step beyond the ordinary and into the realm of "creative". On first listen to the EP by The Outside I heard parts of this. You Are The Alpha… Gracias Por Nada mixes the throaty vocals of Tree with the driving guitars of Damien Girardi. This mixture is nice and songs like "10%" and "Luminous Veil" have softer and harder sections that flow nicely. But by "Milky Way" and beyond, this 17+ minute CD starts getting redundant. There isn't the creative force of a Kurt Bloch that made similar bands like The Fastbacks the force they were. "The Perfect Way I Lost You" drops into a ballad and "Stoop To Kiss" is driving punk. Both songs are well done, but neither contains the spark necessary to grab the listener.
The Outside has the start of something special. The songwriting just needs to be expanded past the normal. Most introductory CDs copy what has worked well on stage. As they prepare for their first full length release, let's hope that The Outside starts to take some chances for the Music's sake. You Are The Alpha… Gracias Por Nada shows promise, but work still needs to be done.
1 10% (3:50)
2 Luminous Veil (3:26)
3 Milky Way (2:55)
4 The Perfect Way I Lost You (4:23)
5 Stoop To Kiss (3:09)