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Outl4w - Get In The Van

Outl4w, Get In The Van

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

YOUNG punk band Outl4w will already be known to avid Xfm listeners as the runners-up to the station’s Breakfast show Rockshool competition (hosted by former host, Christian O’Connell).

They received over 30,000 votes to come second in the national competition and won many friends for the boisterous, enthusiastic manner in which they went about their business in spite of their tender years.

The band – comprised of brothers Bobby, Jack and Will Bentham and Stuart Newburn – formed in 2004 and has had two years to hone its sound ahead of the release of the subsequent debut album, Get In The Van, an unadulterated punk-rock fest that pretty much keeps its foot on the throttle throughout.

And no matter what you may ultimately end up thinking (and it’s certainly not all bad!), there’s no denying that these kids have the talent to match their enthusiasm and commitment to their craft.

The album smacks of the DIY approach the boys have taken, having been recorded and released on their own Inl4w Wreckords label.

But while certainly fun in small doses, tracks do tend to have a habit of blurring rapidly into one, while the youthful sound of the shouty vocals eventually gives their age away.

Every track blasts out of the stereo and is packed full of the innocence of youth (no bad thing in itself). But die-hard punk fans in search of something a little harder may quickly tire of the juvenile sentiment, while Outl4w lack the grit required to be considered as the early punk equivalent of The Beastie Boys.

Certainly, their songs reflect their young concerns, with anthems such as Be Yourself, Junk Food, My Mum Says and I Don’t Wanna Grow Up speaking volumes for where they’re coming from.

But while some of the excellent and striking guitar riffs genuinely impress in terms of their complexity and brilliance (especially on final track, If The Kids Are United), the album still feels like a novelty record no matter how hard they try.

What is clear, however, that if they can emerge from the stresses and strains of teenage years and self-discovery to remain together as they get older, they do have a very bright future ahead of them.

Even then, if they split and go their own way inside the music industry, their obvious talent and determination should hold them in good stead.

It’s in years to come (should they stay together) that the genuine worth of this early offering might really be discovered. For now, it’s interesting rather than essential.

Track listing:

  1. Get In The Van
  2. Be Yourself
  3. Black Flowers
  4. Junk Food
  5. Strych9
  6. I Don’t Wanna Grow Up
  7. Summer Of Rock N Roll
  8. My Mum Says
  9. Jeremy Bentham
  10. Rock & Roll Outl4w
  11. Television Addict
  12. If The Kids Are United