Album review: Outfit - Performance
PUBLISHED: 14:00 11 August 2013
Liverpudlians leave room for doubt over whether it’s worth persevering with their multi-textured debut, despite the odd gem.
The self-produced debut record from this Liverpool five-piece is a bit confounding.
Combining elements of ambient, house, alt-pop, techno and psychedelia, Performance is doubtless a carefully crafted labour of love.
Myriad textures from processed samples, live instruments and percussion feed into every song, topped with underwhelmingly fey vocals.
All sorts of sounds swoosh, schtupp and ticky-tack about, all winnowed to a sculpture-like perfection.
Despite, or probably because of, all this, it too often feels rather clinical and cold.
Opener Nothing Big eloquently evokes being lost in a widescreen wilderness, while a kind of underwater mammal wail snakes through I Want What’s Best and squabby scratches, hi-hat and drumsticks lift the trudging title track.
From the odd set of disco-lite beats (Thank God I Was Dreaming) to the clattering drums that punctuate the aural daze of Elephant Days, which otherwise treads water for four-and-a-half minutes despite an ensemble of layers, many will be left wanting of something that stirs them.
They leave it until closing song Two Islands to get into gear, with a perfect mix of treated guitar, driving bass and insistent keyboard underlining a euphoric vocal refrain that could edge its way onto the Med’s more chilled-out dancefloors.
The Great Outdoors is another podium finisher, harnessing something of a gathering storm amidst the background electro-textures
Some may be rewarded with perseverence, but if Outfit wore more poppy hooks on their sleeve, their future could be assured.
+ Check out the video to I Want What’s Best (above) too, which is half music video, half touching documentary.
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