The hype’s deserved – Outfit are a band of massive potential.
Mike Diver 2012-05-16
"I wanna be everything, all the time, but I just can’t decide." These opening lines on Wirral-born quintet Outfit’s debut EP set the scene for what follows; and the listener isn’t left in any doubt as to the their muddled creative mindset come this four-tracker’s close. But rather than exchange identity for a chameleonic charm offensive, Outfit press their own stamp into every one of these cuts, whatever their design. So much so that, as Dashing in Passing fades to silence, the listener’s finger is primed to hit repeat.
Parallels present themselves, but never once does an echo of familiarity obstruct the intent of these fresh talents. Everything All the Time rides a thumb-thwack-y bassline that’d fit just fine on a Rapture LP, but that’s just a single constituent on a piece that doesn’t spotlight any individual element as its USP. It’s fine curtain-up which almost arranges itself as a short-form suite: stuttering funk to begin with, moving to dynamic sing-along indie-rock, and closing with clanking percussion and buzzing atmospheres. As a snapshot showcase of a new band’s potential, it’s pretty amazing.
Dashing in Passing’s first minute is so far removed from this initial impression, though, that it could be mistaken for the work of a wholly different band. Here, Outfit’s modern-day RnB leanings come through prominently, an unexpected comparison with The Weeknd leaping to mind. Before long a seam of indie-pop is uncovered, but for those first few seconds it’s genuinely exciting to have no idea where the band is headed.
Drakes is something of a melancholic Mystery Jets channelling Talking Heads around Remain in Light, yet much more than such a simple summarisation implies. It’s go-down-smooth yet haunted by unheard spectres, lines about "sleeping in the suburbs again" pricking the skin like someone’s stomping on your grave. Humboldts – the one song where Thomas Gorton takes the microphone ahead of Andrew Hunt – is reminiscent of excellent Manchester combo Dutch Uncles with acute anxiety issues. It, like everything around it, is a little bit brilliant.
Another Night’s Dreams Reach Earth Again is a tremendous introduction. Hype can suffocate if mismanaged, but that earned to date by Outfit is absolutely deserved on this evidence. Expect them to go even further than sort-of-sound-alikes (from a distance, in a blizzard) Everything Everything, by blending fidgety Foals-ian motifs with vocals heavy with real heart and soul.