Thursday, February 21, 2013

Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside: "Untamed Beast" (album review)

Untamed Beast is the new record from Portland, OR retro rock outfit Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside.

The most immediately striking thing about the record is Ford's vocals.  She has a whiskey-soaked Janis Joplin-style delivery with a voice that sounds closer to, of all people, Jack White.

The overwhelming influence on the album is blues rock.  The methodical "Shivers" plods away as Ford unleashes throat-stripping line after throat-stripping line.

On tracks like "They Told Me", the blues are blended with a healthy garage rock sound.  The first few bars of "Devil" are easily mistaken for "Goody Two Shoes" before it breaks off into a rockabilly romp.

Ford and company are at their best when they add another influence to the equation: Surf Rock.  That comes into play on the stellar "Addicted" and the down-and-dirty "Bad Boys".

The playful "Do Me Right" pulls in a 1950's sock hop flavour that juxtaposes nicely with the song's raunchy subject matter.

Untamed Beast may not be a masterpiece from start-to-finish, but it is refreshing to hear someone breathing some new life into a genre that has become pretty predictable pretty quickly.

Sallie Ford & the Sound Outside play Lee's Palace in Toronto on March 27th with Thao & the Get Down Stay Down.

Best tracks: "Addicted", "Do Me Right"

Track listing for Untamed Beast:
  • They Told Me
  • Addicted
  • Party Kids
  • Bad Boys
  • Shivers
  • Devil
  • Paris
  • Do Me Right
  • Lip Boy
  • Rockability
  • Roll Around

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