Review Summary: The Outline is a hidden gem. Being fairly new they are packed with energy and are a lot of fun to listen to.
I came across these guys a few months ago. They were touring with Monty Are I whose concert I was planning to attend, and wanting to become at least a little bit familiar with the band I checked up on The Outline and was pleasantly surprised. I had just stumbled upon an insanely catchy band, and I ended up buying this album a few weeks later. The Outline is a new band aspiring out of the Los Angeles area, which bring a refreshing blend of indie and rock. They released their debut album You Smash It, We’ll Build Around It
through Fearless Records last summer.
The Outline really does a great job at bringing a little diversity into their debut. With songs that can be incredibly beautiful, and others that are just great for rocking out. Graham Fink does a great job singing, and has a fairly decent variance in his vocals. The drumming is a big highlight for me on this album. Ryan Rabin stays upbeat and energetic, but also manages to keep it tight and clean, and has some great fills. The bass ends up being quite audible on most of the tracks and prevails to do more than just hide behind the guitar copying its every action. The negative things I can say about these guys are not much. A couple of the songs tend to drag, but other than that not a whole lot. Nothing is really superb, yet nothing is really that bad either.
One of my favorite tracks of the album is Shotgun
which starts off with some light drumming and guitar work. In the background you hear a yell of “One, Two, One, Two, Three, Four”, and then everything comes in full throttle. The song moves fast and energy just pours out, infecting everyone to move and dance, or at least nod their head. The song buzzes through a couple of verses and the chorus a couple of times, then comes a bridge where the “ba ba’s” and “doo doo’s” are busted out and then I can’t help but ignore everything else and just toss my head around. Life Or Life-Like
is also a great song where the bass is really highlighted. It’s another up-tempo song full of energy. There is a really catchy chorus and some notably fun synth effects that really make this track a great listen. Another stand out track on the album is Perfect For The Plain
. This one starts out with a light tapping on the symbols that is soon followed by a swinging jazzy piano part that is the main drive behind the song. Within the last minute or so the rhythm breaks down into an almost samba kind of feel. The whole song is really entertaining and does a fantastic job at keeping you interested and intrigued.
The new single off of this album is Why We’re Better Now
, and is one of the slower paced songs full of melody and insight. Fink sings about the human capacity for evil and selfishness, which he thinks is the reason we’re the dominant species. “If decency where a common theme, we’d be the prey. If memory meant anything, I’d be coming after you. What do you care, if nothing exists.”
I guess at least he has a different perspective on things. I was pretty confused with the last track when I first heard it, but now I find it hilarious. Broadway And Hurst
tells us a little story about a “chap” who went to a pub one night to find that his “bird” had been cheating on him, which of course is accompanied by a piano, saxophone, and drums in a jazzy fashion. This story is narrated from the main characters perspective. Well this turns out to be quite the narrative as the chap ends up killing the guy who had been seeing his girlfriend and then gets caught by the cops. This is the most vulgar track on the album, being the only one that curses repeatedly, and ends the album in a fashion which I can say I’ve never heard before. After a couple more listens the Broadway And Hurst
grew on me and like I said before I find it to be pretty dang funny.
The Outline really nailed it on this album. They do things a little bit different sometimes and that originality is totally refreshing. There are some incredibly catchy songs on here, and plenty of stuff to keep you interested for quite a while. This is an excellent debut, and I’m excited to see what these guys will do next.
Life Or Life-Like
Perfect For The Plain
Graham Fink- Vocals, Guitar
Austen Lee- Keyboard, Guitar, Saxophone
Max St. John- Bass
Ryan Rabin- Drums