Wednesday, July 3, 2013

CD REVIEW: Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside "Untamed Beast" (Partisan Records)

            You know what I find funny?   When you stumble across a band for the first time, find out that the album you’re listening to from this year is their second album, so you decide not to like them simply because you did not get in at the ground level.  I’m sure people do that.  In fact, I’m pretty sure that’s the only reason why someone would claim not to enjoy “Untamed Beast”.   The thing about this album that makes it so damn good though is that despite my not hearing their debut album before this one, this album has still inspired me to go back and listen to their first album now.

            And apparently after their first album everyone started calling Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside rockabilly.   They even kind of wrote a song about it on this album called, well, “Rockabilly”.   This seems like something I should have picked up on before the song came on, but yeah, here I was, scribbling down all these notes about musical styles and comparisons and then bam, rockabilly hits me like a ton of bricks. 

            (Side Note:  Why do they say “a ton of bricks”?   A ton of anything is still a ton, no matter what’s hitting you)

            So my first thoughts of this album were that it was garage mixed with that Buddy Holly sound, which brings forth memories of Shannon & the Clams amongst other bands, so I kind of thought, “Well, maybe this isn’t for me”… Until the line came on “Never gonna apologize for being so intense / how the hell does that make any sense?”

            And like that, I was in love with Sallie Ford… and the Sound Outside. 

            Throughout the album, the music is rocking and the lyrics are right on.   I could draw comparisons to precursors such as Melissa Etheridge and Meredith Brooks, but since I haven’t been able to write about lyrics this much in a while I’m going to go that route.  (This music is loud and flat out rocks.  If you don’t like it, then you’re too old)

            There is a bit contrast in some of these songs.  As we get into the end of the album, there is a song called “Do Me Right”, which leaves a lot to the imagination.  Actually, I don’t really want to imagine what this song is about, but let’s just say I’m having flashbacks to Elvis shaking his pelvis.   Anyway, it’s funny, because earlier on you will hear “Bad Boys” in which not only does Sallie Ford declare that she likes bad boys but is also kind of like a bad boy herself, she gives us the most awesome slew of words with:

            “I can fuck / I can drink / and I don’t care what you think”

            That really doesn’t leave anything to the imagination, so being those two different ends of the lyrical pole, if you will, within the same album and their placement is just sheer brilliance. 

            There also exists a song about how she wants to live in the 1950’s and not with modern technology.   This is a concept that appeals to me, though I tend to simply play the cards that I am dealt.  She also sings about how she’d like to one day see all the genres melt away, but if that happened I have no idea how I’d review music (It’s hard enough as it is now for me)

            In conclusion, this album can be used as a learning device.  Listen to the song “Devil” and find out how you too can embrace the sound of a band like The White Stripes without sounding like a direct clone of them.   I’m looking at you, Deap Valley. 

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