Review Summary: Nothing more than a mere raindrop in a thunderstorm, just trying to make a splash.
I sometimes wonder how easy it is to really “break out” in the music scene anymore. I can hold auditions for any kid potent enough to hold a guitar, bang on a few cymbals and pads, pluck the string of a bass or hold a note long enough for auto-tune to assemble him into what everyone believes is a singer. At that point I find myself the front man of a band, and a few weeks later after we’ve taken 2 hours a day to write 4 songs just barely long enough for a set. We begin to play shows and record in a friends basement for an EP nobody will ever hear until one day some big bad record company stumbles upon it, somehow loves what they hear and decides to makes us the next big thing. An album with a top notch producer, touring with bands who sound exactly like us and guess what" Only expect us to be around for so long, because we can’t keep our hands out of drama or find a way to sell albums.
“We’re going on a break.”
A little overdramatic I must say, but the description above is what I tend to see most of the time when it comes down to genre music. So many bands come and go, thinking they have what it takes to be the face of their record label, and the ability to think for themselves flies out the window. This may or may not be the case for the New York based six piece whom call themselves That’s Outrageous! It’s just a hard task to find any reason to believe these guys could successfully move on beyond their Rise debut Teenage Scream
. Seeming to pick their name out of the “ridiculous name” top-hat, there isn’t a lot that makes That’s Outrageous!, for lack of a better word, outrageous. Taking generic by the hand and running along side it the entire length of this debut is exactly what the band does, but as clichéd and uncreative this really seems, it’s actually enjoyable in it’s own little ways. Think of it as a spoof movie, you know it’s going to be ridiculously stupid, yet somehow you manage to sit through it.
If you can make your way through the fitting electronic intro, you find yourself stumbling upon ‘Headshot at the Ballet Recital’. Working much like the back flip of a book, everything you need to know to prepare yourself for the rest can be found here. The faint background tune of a synth, the rumble of a breakdown and the roar of the lead vocalist are everything you need to know to mentally prepare for this album, it’s pretty much all that can really be found here. It’s the perfect concoction for whatever sub-genre you can place these guys in, the laziness of the writing found through most of the songs here are pretty unbelievable seeing how quickly they got themselves signed and attached to full time touring. Songs like ‘Star69’ and ‘So, I’m Thinking of Starting A Clothing Line…’ not only find themselves easy to skip because of their names, but there is almost nothing about them that is memorable in anyway. Many can describe the entire album to be that way, but for the guilty pleasure it remains as in my book, I found these few tracks to be nothing more nails on a chalkboard.
It may come as a surprise to some, but Teenage Scream
does actually contain a few memorable tracks, not because of their musicianship or talent of songwriting, but because of the plain execution they present. Late at the plate ‘The New York Chainsaw Massacre’ finds the band at their angriest, so angry that they need the help of Austin Carlile to express themselves. ”Give me one f***ing reason/Why I shouldn’t break your knees”
screams Doriano Magliano following the few note breakdown opening of the song. From here on the anger consists and more than any other song on the album, this one managed to make me pissed off, leading to the slamming of my fist on the desk as the final breakdown note comes to a close. I can’t say that’s the only song here really worth listening too though, Magliano’s ability to sing far surpasses his screaming talents and that’s shown in ‘#Winning’ and ‘RE: Why I Killed My Girlfriend’. When the band can back him with some simply catchy instrumentals, he really does his job without completely killing himself in autotune. Whether there’s only a bit there or a lot and I just can’t notice, he’s a pretty talented little singer. I wish I could say the same for his bland and boring screams, one pitch rarely works for any genre let alone what he wants to try and pull off here.
As I stated before, it doesn’t take much to really dislike That’s Outrageous!, and by saying much I mean thirty seconds into the opening track for many. It takes ambition and creativity to write and produce a record, and if this band really believes they can make it far with material like this than they need a reality check. Saying this though, I give credit to whomever I have too for liking this as much as I do. I find it a guilty pleasure in every sense of the word, for every now and than I can play three or four songs off of here and just rock out to the simplicity and one dimensional structure which supports everything this band really stands for. That’s Outrageous! Are nowhere near outrageous or even crazy, but remain nothing more than a mere raindrop in a thunderstorm just trying to make a splash.