Adorned with the glorious artwork of Dabulga Design, Outsound are already on the road best travelled. Strikingly colourful and riddled with all Colin Bolger’s boundless creativity and artistic nuances, it stands to reason that their debut album was going to be an abundance of various genres and styles. Taking inspiration from the grunge, blues, and metal scenes, Outsound have amassed an album that bleeds invention, while reaping the respect of decades past. Megatherium is an album that’s progressive, innovative, and layered in endless melody and atmosphere. Here’s a deep dive into the album, in the hope it gives you a taster of what to expect.
I want to start this review with the title track, final track on the album, and the last single to be released, and that’s Megatherium. This track has it all in my opinion, so it's a good way to start this review. A sick bass line accompanies some solid grunge drenched riffs and a rhythmic melody that’s married brilliantly with some really rangey vocals that carry just enough grit to give the track a bit of bite. Varied tempo changes under crashing drums along with a soaring solo gives the track that old school rocker attitude, and a hook that buries itself deep into your subconscious.
The album is loaded with gread musical ideas, and tracks like Venereal Charm bring the funk and the fizz to proceedings with a solid riff and a real grunge driven groove that contrasts perfectly against those swirling dual guitars that sweep through the latter stages of the track. You then have a very different monster in the darker and more menacing Crème Brulee. There’s a shit load of attitude on display here, and a very welcoming nod to the mighty Alice In Chains, in particular, the vocal conviction of Layne Stanley, that haunts and inhabits the core of the track.
Outsound didn’t hold back on giving us quantity along with quality on Megatherium. Theres ten tracks to immerse yourself in, and each one displays its own identity and its own direction while always managing to lead you in some way down the beaten track of bands of old. It’s not easy to play a style of music that has influences from some of the biggest periods in rock music, yet somehow, they manage to bring their own brand and their own character to the table. Outsound have taken a pretty solid stab at this, and as debut albums go, this is immense.
Tracks like Hardcore Daisy really resonate with everything I mentioned above. It’s a patient, slow burner, that builds under a wave of singular guitars and an underlying bassline that really gets under your skin for all the right reasons. Psychedelic voices bring with them that raspy and well-polished vocal that really suits the ambience and feel of the music. Maybe it’s these ears, but this track has an underlying Queens Of The Stone Age quality that makes the vibe and mood of the track truly infectious and encore chant-worthy.
Freakshow is another highlight on the record, with it’s near nu-metal flavour, and those System Of A Down undercurrents from the Hypnotise/Mesmerize era that keep ebbing and flowing throughout the track. Harmonic, dual vocals give this piece of music great depth and emotion and really elevates the band to another level. It’s addictive and it hits hard. Outsound have really showcased their ability to hybridise genres and fuse together a sound that’s fresh, funky and a force to be reckoned with…. and they’re from Cork too like!