Wednesday, April 23, 2014

OUTLOUD - "Let's get Serious"

REVIEW BY: Alan Holloway

“We’re gonna rock you to life, we’re gonna rock you to death!”. Blimey, Outloud certainly don’t hold back on their third album, with opener “Death Rock” promising slaughter and resurrection in equal measure. Let’s be frank, though, it’s not a million miles from the cheesy promise of the first album, where they promised “We’ll Rock You To Hell & Back Again”. As melodic rock bands go, Outloud take some beating in the bold statement department, if nothing else.

It’s been a long three years since the band’s second album “Love Catastrophe”, and in all honest it’s good to have them back. Outloud are as unpretentious as you can get, nothing more than a great melodic rock band with a talent for writing catchy tunes. As with the two previous releases, “Let’s Get Serious” is a treasure trove of solid guitar and keyboard driven melodic rock that will sneak under the radar whilst everyone is gushing over the new Brother Firetribe album.

The undisputed star of the show is, unsurprisingly, Bob Katsionis (he of Firewind fame, amongst others), who provides some stellar keyboards and guitar work throughout (aided by guitarist Jim Scordillis). Close behind is vocalist Chandler Mogel, whose clear, powerful vocals often have more than a hint of Michael Sweet about them. This is never more apparent than on “Toy Soldiers”, a genuinely heavy track that belts along and includes a blistering solo from Adrenaline Mob’s Mike Orkando.

The big surprise on the album is kept until the end, as the band launch into a cover of the OMD classic “Enola Gay” that really shouldn’t work but ends up being rather fun, making you realize that the famous keyboard riff sounds just as cool on guitar. It’s a fitting finale to an album with no weak tracks (even the wimpy acoustic ballad “It Really Doesn’t Matter” has it’s own charm). Good as it is, we’re not quite in the territory of five “R”s, but this is a solid AOR album with everything to recommend about it, especially if you’re a fan of either of the previous two Outloud releases. Time to get serious…

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