Review Summary: Us, From Outside have put forward a strong debut, using harmony and sheer rage helps create an album worth listening too, be warned you may become addicted...very easily.
Us, From Outside are a band that have not long been on the 'scene' for long, there's not much information about them at all apart from they hail from Philadelphia. UFO consists of six members.
Now, I'm warning you this band isn't for everyone and I can see many people disliking them, but they've tried and it shows as the outcome is quite pleasing.
The album overall is excellent, the general feel is harmony mixed with ferocity, but this band are generic in terms of song structure and lyrical content.
Firstly, UFO does have talent, the main vocalist (Michael) who does clean vocals which are superb in every sense is the main strength of this band as his voice constantly shines through above the pounding instruments, there's something distinctive about his voice too, I can't pinpoint it but its there.
The screams are pretty good but many people have complained about how they're quite annoying due to the fact, while the clean vocals are being sung; the screams are taking place too so you have an utter ear piercing sound at once and you never know what you should be listening to or trying too for that matter, only everynow and then do the screams fly solo.
Instrumentally they're ok, nothing out of this world; the drumming is standard and the guitars do shine every now and then but one thing about UFO is the use of the piano, when the piano keys come in softly it changes a song completely and creates something quite special.
Also the album flows wondefully, each song blends together but they're still easy to separate, becareful you will actually lose yourself within their sound.
The intro, 'Who Saves The Savior' is an absolute delight, sonically it sounds astounding, the clean vocals create an atmosphere that can't be matched, the piano softly plays along with the vocals in a melodic manner adding to the harmonious effect.
I wasn't expecting much from the introduction but as I listened on it became quite catchy.
The next stand out song is ' No Ash, No Phoenix', it's a strong track featuring brutality, a sense of sweetness and the infamous piano. The screams through out are very strong and concise and the clean vocals blend in well, the track ends on a high with the drums beating away with the screaming coming to a climax and the vocalist raises his pitch to near sky high, then everything becomes calm again and the piano enters ending the song on a high note.
Every song is nice, some are definately better than others, another song that stands out is 'The Honesty In Shadows And Reflections'. Once again, the vocals are sublime and carry the song with justice, the screams by this point are showing some diversity with some gutturals but they seem strained at points, generally with UFO the screams are high pitched to the point of you realising your ears bleeding is quite possible. Sonically the song is good, around the 2:40 mark the screams and vocals blend together along with drums create a mess but a nice mess, a mess that makes you want to listen with more attention.
The final song I'm going to talk about is the outro of the album, and by far its the best song on the entire album, it literally blows every other song out of the water in everyway possible, enter ' Smile Princess, You're Perfect'. The song opens up with a nice guitar solo which sets the scene, the song has the standard singing and screaming but its UFO's willingness to experiment a bit which really makes the song a gem, group vocals are introduced and the guitars and drums come together to sonically create something special, added with the piano in the chorus makes this song irresistible; especially around the 2:40 mark again, the vocals are over produced purposely so it goes sweetly 'hand in hand' with the carefully timed chiming of the piano. I cannot emphasise how much the pianist and vocalist when combined are the empiphany of beauty.
Now for the negative side, the vocals on certain songs; especially the introduction does have auto-tune which is a bit dissapointing, the screaming can become painful at times to the point of where you have to take a break because the screamer just loves to scream, loud and proud. Like I said the combination of clean vocals and the screaming in the background can become annoying because aswell as the instruments strumming and pushing the sound forward you have even more to cope with.
The song structures are pretty similar, let's sing with screams, catchy chorus, let's sing some more...OH! ADD SOME PIANO! UFO do not really experiment and it would of been nice if they did, but maybe they're leaving that for their sophomore.
Also, instrumentally it's a bit dissapointing. Yes, the guitars are consistantly good but they don't really get much of a chance to shine; it seems like they're competing for centre stage along with the drums, vocals, screams and whatever else is going on in a song. The drumming, as I said is pretty good and in some songs it helps strenghten the foundation, instrumentally it still needs work.
Lyrically the band are the same old, not really worth a mention. At times they seem good but it's generally generic, no nobel prizes for lyrical content, sorry folks.
Overall, this album is a pleasure to listen too, it's something unusual in terms of sound but it's a strong debut, each song is nice to listen too in there own individual way, UFO have really tried and as a result they've carved their name into the genre but for how long? Only time will tell.