That's Outrageous

Psycho

Written by: TL on 24/11/2012 15:10:23

Last year I committed merciless literary homicide on "Teenage Scream", the debut album by US sextet That's Outrageous, and soon afterwards the band imploded in a puff of drama and petty squabbling over who wrote what in arguably the worst music committed to plastic that year. So on some level it's pretty discouraging to see that the band has recovered and remain in the music scene, although with a completely revamped line-up.

It makes "Psycho", the band's new album, a pretty obvious candidate for one destructive review, yet amazingly, upon actually listening to the album, I find myself forced to report that That's Outrageous have somehow managed to improve. Their shock and awe tactics are obviously still utterly vulgar, as proven by both their name, their artwork and their main musical elements. But the mosh-friendly heavy parts now come out with a properly despondent rage that invokes all the right mental imagery of plane crashes and highway pile-ups. That and their cheeky electro-pop counterparts now ring with intentionally digi-tuned vocals that are sufficiently understated to somehow allow the mixture to make sense. The real kicker however, is that That's Outrageous have just gotten noticeably better, not only in terms of overall production and musicianship, but also when it comes to sense of timing and catchyness, cleverly giving a number of their songs catchy intro-signatures with either piano, guitar or synths, and making dead sure than when all their elements come crashing into each other it really does sound like one enjoyably menacing cacophony.

Unfortunately , it seems the guys that hold the pens here are still adolescent, complete idiots, as any moments spent enjoying their technical improvements are ruined in the instance you allow your mind to follow the offensive, crunk-style lyrics. The all-crunk "Home Invasion 101" in particular, delivers the record a massively cringe-worthy blow at track eight for instance, and with the bone-headed impact of "Stranger Danger" and the retarded attemt at acoustic balladry in "*67", a three-track stretch is formed on the album's latter half, that really can't but remind you of the depths of classlessness that That's Outrageous have crawled out from.

Things sort of work however, when the band stay true to the meeting of brutish, breakdown-core force and brazen electro which, although it is shamelessly poppy with its vocal effect, at least casts their singer more as emo T-Pain than as some sort of high-pitched super human. Songs like "Flatliners", "Pretty Little Liars" and opener "Psycho" light a path for the band and the all-electro "Vyvanse Trance" is not even a particularly uncool change of pace at track five. All the good traits displayed are still let down flatly by the lyrics and the later half of the record however, and this stinks up the release enough that I'd still say you have to have some pretty shitty taste to actually want to call yourself a fan. With the way the effective heavy parts sound so utterly ruthless on here however, I'm just saying that "Psycho" is nowhere near as completely repulsive as I expected it to be. I just wish I was sure whether to feel either disturbed or glad about that.

5

Download: Flatliners, Pretty Little Liars, Psycho
For The Fans Of: I See Stars, The Bunny The Bear, Make Me Famous, Abandon All Ships
Listen: facebook.com/thatsoutrageous

Release Date 16.10.2012
InVogue Records

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