Outernational has temporarily left the border, but the lyrics are still very political on their Tom Morello-produced new EP, ‘Future Rock’. In five high energy missiles flirting with many genres, the band is still in revolution mode and on a mission to unveil the delusional nature of the American dream.
Mixing hard rock, world music, metal lines, and spiced up by a delivery which goes from a Clash-style to a plain hip hop, the tracks are fireballs unleashing a ferocious energy, driven by rocking guitars and aggressive riffs. All the songs are an invitation to revolt, just take the opener ‘One For The Airwaves’, the lyrics truly couldn’t be clearer, ‘Its one for the airwaves / And two for the show / I’m reelin’ and I’m rockin’ / And I’m ready to go / Its one for the barricades / And two for your hopes / Worldwide revolution’. But the revolution has to come though the music, ‘I don’t want to hear the same old sound’, sings Miles Solay in the titled song ‘Future Rock’, and effectively the concoction of explosive guitars, shouted vocals and blasting chorus fit the message. It’s rock’ n’ roll blowing up right in your face, with a myriad of subjacent influences, which can be heard behind the hard hitting chords and violent execution.
The fast and hard-sounding ‘Empty Lives’ is probably a standout of the EP, as it easily fools around with metal or something close to it. But this is what Miles Solay had to say about it in an interview with American Songwriter:
‘We wrote this song in a cozy Phoenicia cabin one winter upon receiving an assignment from Morello. In the beginning of our working relationship Tom was fond of giving ‘assignments’. In essence, these were creative devices intended to jumpstart the process of writing a song or a way of focusing on a musical element to lay the foundation for the jam to come. With this song we were instructed to take the bass-line from Metallica’s ‘Seek & Destroy’ and make it the bass-line of our song with the exception being that it would be played backwards. That’s right, the same bass-line note-for-note but with the notes in opposite order. The song was also to be fast tempo and needed a gang vocal saying ‘BO!’ in the chorus.’
Metallica backwards? It actually works, especially with these saturated trumpets responding to the aggressiveness of the chords, and the lyrics delivering the straightforward message, ‘Like a religion I’m shaking the faith / Shaking the faith / Shaking the faith / I tell these kids with Scarface on their lips / On that little-ass corner you ain’t regulating shit / This parasitic pornographic culture / False hopes, American vultures / Empty lives in the United States’…
I cannot resist to post more of this same interview:
‘The song’s lyrics speak for themselves, I believe, laying bare the degrading and putrid nature of American society. This song is for those reared on that parasitic and illusory American Dream. How many youngsters think they’re so hip in aspiring to be like Tony Montana? How many are trained to think that being inside the Master’s house is the place to be instead of getting rid of the whole slave plantation itself? No more. We declared ‘Empty Lives’ as the first single off of Future Rock because we thought certain things needed to be said right off the bat. And, well, because it goes to 11.’
Even the wha-wha guitar effects on ‘Sir, No Sir’ cannot calm down the passion, which continues to convey the same message through a series of fists-in-the-air ‘Hey! Hey! Sir, no Sir!’ The EP closes with ‘Outernational’, bringing a hip hop vocal style over exotic trumpets and guitars navigating between metal-thunder and Arabian-style melodies, blending once again the genres.
‘Future Rock’ is far less south-of-the-border-influenced than their previous effort 'Todos Somos Ilegales/We Are All Illegals', but not less tenacious, fierce and a genuine call for a revolution through music. Buy it here: http://outernational.bandcamp.com/releases
weaving a fairy tale for us to get lost in
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – July 1973 (Volume 5, Number 2)
“I don’t consider David (Bowie) to be even remotely big enough to be any competition.”
an old school New York feel
oedipal vulnerable and blue collar visceral
An emotional song with Miya’s acrobatic and vulnerable vocals
Creem – America’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll Magazine, Reviewed Issue By Issue – May 1973 (Volume 4, Number 12)
From Robert Johnson to the Ramones – what a life!
one of the great top tens of the 2020
will mark their return to the road in early February, 2023 with a string of to-be-announced US arena dates
enjoyable and soulful romp
another full day of music