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The Outsiders - Calling On Youth review (Sounds - June 1977)

date: Jun 5, 1977


The Outsiders - Calling on Youth 

The Outsiders are all 19, and have played a few gigs at new wave venues. The Roxy hated them for their clothes (they didn’t conform) which engenders a certain amount of sympathy. This is their first album, privately financed (a loan from their parents) and pressed (1,000 copies). So good for them - but was it worth it? Only just. I wish they’d waited until they’d gained a whole lot more experience because an album is terribly premature. The playing’s OK (esp. ‘Walking through a storm’)... but the lyrics generally are too full of intensely personal teenage angst and empty of art.

Yeah - I’ve no doubt Adrian Borland feels what he sings/writes, but the result is a mess of cliches adding up to embarrassment. You know: Poetry. The sound is very monotonous, with even the acoustic songs failing to provide a change of mood, amateurish and ultimately self-indulgent. The garage-band sound without the redeeming raunchy sneers and swing. I’m sorry to be so damning, but, enterprise aside, this really isn’t good... A home demo maybe but otherwise... Still, I suppose it’s something to show people, and maybe they’ll get more gigs... it’s a start. 

Review by Jon Savage 
(Sounds June 1977) 

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