Outsideinside

II

15,0019,00

LP (orange & pink/black)

RFR019 / Rock Freaks Records

Grown into a quartet, Outsideinside from Pittsburgh play classic hard rock in the 70s style, which they spice up with a soul-soaked portion of boogie rock. 180gr vinyl.

Clear

Tracklist

1. My Mother’s Son
2. Sisterman
3. Fine Line
4. In Your Mind
5. I Ain’t Waitin’
6. Ancient Faces
7. Top 10
8. Eventide

Additional information

“Since they made their debut in 2017 with the somewhat undervalued Sniff a Hot Rock , Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, classic-style heavy rockers Outsideinside — who take their name from Blue Cheer‘s 1968 sophomore album — have toured Europe and signed to the Freak Valley-affiliated Rock Freaks Records as well as added a fourth member to the band in James Hart, who brings organ/keys and guitar to the proto-heavy style proffered by the returning trio of drummer Panfilo Dicenzo, bassist Jim Wilson and vocalist/guitarist Dave Wheeler. Accordingly, their own sophomore album, Outsideinside II, is a somewhat richer affair than its predecessor, but its root mission is nonetheless consistent with its predecessor in not only paying homage to the heroes of two generations prior — the names are myriad, but the band cites Free, Hendrix, Spooky Tooth and Funkadelic, among others — but in giving new life to the sound and style those bands proffered. Thus, songs like side B’s “Ancient Faces” and the earlier swaggering “Fine Line” are more vintage in construction and tone than actual production, which remains clear modern, if organic and live sounding, finding a balance throughout its unassuming 40 minutes that is neither pretentious nor overblown in either direction.
It’s a line Wheeler and Wilson were able to tread in their previous outfit, Carousel, as well, but as Hart finds his place in the mix by Nate Campisi, who also recorded at Mr. Smalls Studio, here alongside the other three players, be it in the brash and speedy “In Your Mind” or the near-10-minute “Maggot Brain”-plus-vocals-esque finale “Eventide,” Outsideinside also seem to come into their own, building on the accomplishments in songcraft and overarching flow of their first LP — learning those lessons well and integrating them into what they do — while exploring new challenges and methods with a rightly won confidence. Thus it is a song like the presumed side A capper “I Ain’t Waitin’” is able to place a multifaceted hook in a verse position and shift fluidly into a thrilling pair of organ and guitar solos ahead of its last fadeout — what might be called a “duel” if the two elements weren’t so clearly working as part of the same team and toward the same ends.
While Hart makes key contributions throughout Outsideinside II as much figuratively as literally, one would be remiss not to point out the presence Wheeler brings to his performance throughout this material. As he leads the way through the Humble Pie-style mid-tempo boogie opener “My Mother’s Son” — those waiting to spot the record’s first use of cowbell will not have to wait long — he taps into a particular kind of soulfulness that few modern singers can effectively portray. Dru Brinkerhoff of Stone Axe could do it, but one is hard pressed to come up with other names besides Wheeler. It’s a style that is able to conjure booze-addled sway and follow-the-riff party vibes and emotional sincerity in kind, and amid all the swing and shove of the penultimate “Top 10” or “In Your Mind,” it shouldn’t be forgotten that after “My Mother’s Son” at the album’s outset comes “Sisterman,” wherein the lyrics position the idea of a sister as one who helps shoulder burdens and provides support apart even from what a brother or a parent might.” (JJ Koczan – The Obelisk)

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