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The Outsiders- Calling On Youth review (NME - October 1977)

date: Oct 12, 1977


The Outsiders - Calling on Youth 

Boy, these bozos sure blew the opportunity of the year! “Albert Camus and the Outsiders” - great name, eh? The Outsiders are three Wimbledon grammar school boys named Adrian, Adrian and Bob who’ve been together now for just one year, supporting The Jam and The Vibrators at the Roxy. The title track’s archetype running-scared riffs are chased by lyrics of quite astonishing naievete. “On the Edge,” your usual “live fast, die young” spiel, is amusing if you’ve ever seen The Outsiders - a more plump, well fed bunch of boys you’ve never seen, and apple-cheeked Ade has a complexion that would turn a Devon milkmaid green with envy. “Hit and Run” is your token misogynist muck; “Hit and run! Sure way to have some fun!” Honest, I could take it from a cute thug type, but I went to school with chicks who were more bad-ass than these boys. Hey, look! The next track’s called “I’m Screwed Up”. Great! But it’s boring - nay, tedium incarnate. And all those moaning guitars, like on your big brother’s “Heavy Metal” records - you know, the type of guitar that sounds like it’s trying to get off but is getting castrated instead. 

“Start Over” is a limp bit of acoustic torture. However I was stunned by a song called “Break Free”. Abysmal lyrics “I saw you as a princess, now I know you as a slut” but a beautifully simple arrangement of chords, drums and guitars coagulating into a smooth blue aquatic soul tune, evocative of early Sixties Stax. It broke my heart to see such a beauty not waving but drowning amongst such morass. And so on until The Outsiders fling themselves over the edge of their frantic finale, “Terminal Case”. “I’m a rock and roll terminal case!” they screech. How silly. They don’t even take drugs. Let me just quit the hostilities long enough to say that The Outsiders play as competently as any 19 year olds whose parents were rich enough to buy them electric toys last Christmas. The album is produced as nicely as would be any album put out on a label set up especially by the rich Daddies. But I’m just so BORED with these well-bred little students toying with our music like it’s the latest coffee-table conversation piece. I’m so sick of rich bitches hooking their claws into our cause. I’m so tired of people who need to think about breathing. 

Review by Julie Burchill 
(NME October 1977)

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