Spanish Moss And Total Loss

Shout Out Out Out Out

Normals Welcome Records, 2012

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen


I still say Canada breeds some of the best indie rock that exists today. Sure, the States are pumping out larger volumes and I imagine Brooklyn alone probably houses more indie bands than all of Canada combined, but the sheer quality of Canadian independent music never ceases to amaze me.

With this their third album in eight years, Edmonton's Shout Out Out Out Out has the distinction of having not only the most repetitive band name but of being one of the most textured, melodic, and DIY bands to our north. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

As a six piece, the outfit have an arsenal of instruments at their disposal, making good use of saxophones, Rhode pianos, baritone guitars, analog synth, and of course, their trademark double drummers. The band has broadened their songwriting path here with more diverse tempos than previous records, injecting disco, house and krautrock influences into their extremely dance floor friendly arrangements.

This is an album with more emphasis placed on melody than previous outings. Right out of the gate, "Now That I've Given Up Hope, I Feel Much Better" yields a strategically placed piano riff and lively handclaps that reel you in. From there, the sounds become a bit more calm, though the energy is picked up again with "Lessons In Disappearing," an upbeat song that finds a groove and doesn't let up. The singing here is something worth noting. Frontman Nik Kozub filters his voice through an old analog vocoder, and the result is blurry and bordering on undecipherable, adding some mystery to the songs.

The band plugs in a lot of funk nods; tracks like "Wayward Satellite" and "Never Say The Same Way Twice" are both chock full of funk amid the synth. "Spanish Moss" even has some subtle reggae funk leanings, a tune that warrants a hazy sing-a-long immediately. While the entire disc certainly has a nostalgic feeling, "How Do I Maintain Part 3" is especially retro, a song that radiates late night dance vibes from earlier decades.

While their counterparts are content with making music on laptops, Shout Out Out Out Out is going the hands-on route with their vintage nods and eclectic stabs at modern day indie dance rock. This is certainly not a disc that will be everyone's cup of tea, but those with an ear toward this sound will be infatuated instantly.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2012 Tom Haugen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Normals Welcome Records, and is used for informational purposes only.