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The Outsiders - Close Up review (NME 7-4-1979)

date: Apr 7, 1979


 

The Outsiders - Close Up - LP Review

With “Close Up” The Outsiders - of whom, unfortunately, I know virtually nothing - have come up with a strictly 50/50 effort; a patchy, but promising collection of love songs and almost astute social documentaries. The love songs - mostly set to obvious, and unashamedly appealing fast music - are the best, dealing with the angst of broken romance and basically simple boy/girl realtionships. The rest are a different kettle of fish entirely in the main, sprawling and strained attempts at biting (sic) social criticism, inadequately expressed over hopelessly self-conscious and half-hearted ‘industrial’ rhythms. The best tracks are “Vital Hours” and “Out of Place”. Both are classic examples of Big Beat Music - steadfastly optimistic riff, presented with maximum panache, underpinning a relatively obvious lyric delivered in a crisp and precise manner. Adrian Borland sings with something of both Ray Davies and Jim Morrison in his voice - tha latter painfully apparent on the heavy-handed “Conspiracy of War” - and plays guitar with a somewhat studied, psychedelic undertone that on occasion sounds elegant, but more often than not is just over expressive. Jan (just Jan) is an unobtrusive drummer, who knows what to hit; how hard and when. Which leaves Bob Lawrence - for my money the star of the show - who plays wonderfully round-sounding bass lines that impress consistently. A few reservations - but a band with a future.

by John Hamblett (NME April 7th 1979)



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