Aug. 6, 2012
There's a point where rock subgenres such as indie, garage and punk coalesce into something musicians can call their own. New Berlin quartet Outliers takes from all of the above on the band's second album, Neon Leon, and delivers music at once nostalgic, heartsick, abrasive and arrogant. The shambolic tunefulness and bratty abandon at times suggest a young Iggy Pop, had The Stooges been (barely) corralled into power pop. Some imprint of danceable neo-new wave bands such as Franz Ferdinand survives from Outliers' previous album, but the band's maturation cuts a wider sonic swath that allows for both more tenderness and aggression. It bodes well for a potentially explosive live show and a future worth anticipating.