January 30, 2018 The Outfit – The Outfit (Album Review)
Veteran musicians, the members of The Outfit are set to unleash their debut on Friday, February 2, 2018 through Pavement Entertainment. The product of Chicago, Illinois brothers Mark (drums) and Matt Nawara (guitar), and Bassist Mike Gorman (Pezband and Off Broadway), along with Phoenix, Arizona’s Vocalist/Guitar Andy Mitchell, The Outfit takes listeners on an old school Rock ride.
Simply titling the album The Outfit, the nine song output was engineered by Matt Mercado at Sonic Palace Studios in Oak Park, Illinois and mixing was done in Los Angeles by Grammy nominated, multi-platinum Producer/Mixer Ulrich Wild (Pantera, Deftones). That in mind, listeners might notice the album does not necessarily find additional strength from sequencing; taking each track as a stand alone slice of the pie is not a weakness or asset.
Kicking in with “Wire,” it becomes immediately clear this is old school Rock with hard-hitting guitar riffs that shred. Sliding in next is the slick sound of “Lucky Ones,” a song which is reflective on self-examination set to a strong beat. The mix is an animal all itself, giving the track depth and texture to layered vocals. Only a couple of songs in, The Outfit begins to feels like it belongs in the 1970s, but in a good way. That vibe is evident on “TKO,” which finds an easy stroll. Then, with a completely different vibe, the lead single “Soldier Boy” shifts gears back to that hard-hitting Rock. Somewhat simple structurally, it does work with a solid breakdown to trip on as the vocals match soaring guitar work.
Mixing up the tempo, “Unfolds” is a pseudo-ballad. Showing the album’s diversity, the subtle changes on “Unfolds” creates a new kind of feel for the album and band, making it one of the best of The Outfit. Moving on, “Just As One” seems cliche in comparison, yet is still worth a listen. Originality in a Rock band can be a challenge and that challenge is met head-on with “Miracle” as the album’s anthemic standout. Rock style oozes here in blissful angst. With solid musicianship, it is authentic to the core.
Ripping it back into high gear, “No Lights On” is the sound that will keep heads banging along with deep, thoughtful lyrics. Like every great Rock album that winds down with a slice of ripping guitar work, “Hot Love” is no exception in the final minutes.
The Outfit shines on their debut and show they have the chops of veterans, yet the forward thinking attitude to make an impact. The Outfit is a promising start for this up-and-coming band, and that is why CrypticRock gives this album 4 out of 5 stars.
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