The Outlaw Orchestra
'Pantomime Villains' Album Review
Excerpt from bio:- It’s been 18 months since the release of The Outlaw Orchestra’s debut 'The Devil Made Me Do It', and it’s been quite a ride. The quartet have toured their unique brand of Good-Time, Southern Country, Rock ’n’ Roll “Heavygrass” across the country in support of Artists such as the Darkness, Dan Baird and Warner Hodges, including Festival appearances at Ramblin’ Man Fair, Winter’s End, The Rock and Blues Custom Show, Planet Rockstock and HRH Crows (Main Stage O2 Academy Sheffield), Rockin’ the Bowl alongside bands like Reef, Doctor and the Medics, Foreigner, The Kris Barras Band, Brothers Osborne, Black Star Riders and Black Stone Cherry.
The second EP, 'God Knows We Tried', is a smorgasbord of the band’s extensive song writing capabilities filtered through their signature sound of rock drums and electric guitars fused with upright bass and bluegrass banjo. Fans of the first record and the band’s early work will be pleased at the inclusion of uptempo rockers 'Country High' and 'Burn The House', but there is also a wider exploration of the band’s sound and remarkable lyrical wit in the title track 'God Knows' and the expansive megalith 'Phantasmagoria'. This EP was recorded and produced themselves and served as a precursor to the debut album that has been recorded at The Old Chapel Studios in Chichester UK and is set for release May 29th 2020. This will capture the sound that they produce live and will unveil several new songs and band favourites that have never yet been recorded. The debut album will be available on CD, Vinyl and all other music media platforms.
'Take My Bow' kicks off this much anticipated debut album from one of the most unique bands around. A full on in your face Cajun dance party from the off with a banjo solo ripped up by Pete thrown in for good luck. This is followed by a track called 'Chicken Fried Snake' which as the name suggests is a tune full of southern swagger and it doesn't disappoint from start to finish as musically we are way down south. We are taken on a culinary journey with Dave whilst ordering his chicken fried snake to the backdrop of a funky beat.
'Hanging Tree' is a full out guitar and banjo duel that would put the scene in the film Deliverance to shame, with the rhythm section Alex and Ryan backing them up perfectly. 'Whiskey Drinking Liar' is just a dirty down south roadhouse rock n roll number that will have those feet tapping and head bobbing in an instant. Midway we have a wonderful musical change of style that still sits perfectly before the devil drags us back down south.
'Arabia' is the first track to be released from this debut album, and is just a fun and frolics tune, full of humour, and the video matches the mood perfectly. Honest Abdul must be proud of this song in particular. "Where's my camel when I need one?"
'Jumpin Jive' is another no holds barred full on in your face barrage of sound that hits you like a ton of bricks square in the face. Next up is a tune that we can all relate to, a song about going into a music store for a set of strings and coming out with a guitar costing tons of money or something similar, and then having to explain to your better half what just happened. Just enjoy 'It Happened Again'.
'Voodoo Queen' has a Latino sounding start, before we are told the story of the 'Voodoo Queen'. An excellent vaudeville style track that just has a wonderful vibe. I can imagine the feather boas swishing about on the stage before we are again taken Latino style to the end. We are next treated to 'Too Much Willie Nelson' which is just another foot stomping sing a long tune with an addictive beat throughout.
We finish this debut album by this eclectic bunch of musicians with a track called 'Send Some Whiskey Home' which is just a great way to end this wonderful release. Fingerpicking style start before we have the most bizarre story of love. A true Outlaw Orchestra tune to end with.
Out everywhere on May 29th, this is one unique son of a bitch unlike anything else you will hear this year. I would highly recommend a piece of this just to put a smile on your face through these dark times. A wonderfully crazy mix of styles all put together and gift wrapped and stamped 'With Love From The Outlaw Orchestra'.
TFM gives 'Pantomime Villains' 5/5, a highly individual album that sounds like nothing else. Go buy it when released, it is guaranteed to liven up your day.