THE OUTLAW ORCHESTRA - God Knows We Tried (EP)
JAMIE MOGRIDGE PERCY
A long awaited new four-track EP from the four-piece outlandish country rockers THE OUTLAW ORCHESTRA is due to land imminently. With additions to the band and new equipment to play with, the Heavy Grass boys of deepest darkest south UK are soon to launch their new EP on the 20th of July 2019 at Ramblin’ Man Fair. However, fans will have chance to purchase 300 pre-sale limited editions of ‘God Knows We Tried’ from the band’s website the week prior to the event.
This year, The Outlaws have seen a change of banjo player with the charismatic Pete Briley joining in the fun and bringing with him the addition of a lap steel, helping to create a “new sound”. This has aided the band to write new songs and add to old ones, hence the creation of this EP.
The title falls neatly in place with the previous ‘The Devil Made Me Do It’ giving audiences a new flavour and style. Two of the tracks are staple stage bangers in ‘Country High’ and ‘Burn The House’, but with the talented Pete adding his mark with the gratifying resonance of the Lap Steel. The other two tracks ‘God Knows’ and ‘Phantasmagoria’ are brand new off the rock shelf. Outlaw enthusiasts will not be disappointed with then new music, but there are changes, and those that intensely follow the band will notice the welcome differences.
Kicking off the EP is ‘Country High’, a fan favourite and one that would even get your grandma doing a high tempo do-si-do. Written in the early days by Alex, Double Bass player and all-round crazy crocodile wrestler, it’s classed by the band as “a bluegrass jam that sets the mood of a dam fine night out”.
The ever storytelling and talented guitarist/front man Dave Roux, explained the meaning for ‘Country High’ lyrics as “writing songs and getting Willie Nelsoned with buddies having driven to rehearsal past the guys doing community service in their orange jackets of shame”.
While fans have heard this track before, they will notice the subtle hints added within the remake of the song, it’s got itself a new edge.
Following on from this well-known track is a one that is fresh to the ears and normal tempo of the band. ‘God Knows’ is lead track for the title of the EP and has a very soft feel to it providing an unfamiliar sound, but a welcoming one. It’s based on an event that happen while Dave went to see Cadillac Three, when they were called Cadillac Black, at a small club in Hollywood, and, as with most songs by THE OUTLAW ORCHESTRA, has a story to tell.
Dave tells it as “The lighting rig guy up in the roof had billows of white hair and a big white beard, he was trying via headset to contact the lighting guy downstairs and couldn't get the technology to work, finally in fury he climbed down all ranting to speak to the bloke on the floor doing lights, I said to Cathy "Hey look, Gods come downstairs to complain about the noise.......to the boys......gods come downstairs to complain to the boys about the noise......they made....last night"
A much lower tempo and a different tact than other songs but it will add a nice soothing tone to their otherwise thunderous and all out raucous show pieces.
Another classic OO track and one all fans will have heeded copious times is ‘Burn The House’, a track that’s designed to kick you in the teeth and leave you feeling shattered. Exactly what the song lyrics portray. It all starts with Ryan, Mr nice guy drummer and poster boy for all fans, then rolls into a crashing melody of rock, blues and country tunes, and of course, those extra lap steel tones. Again, bringing a new edge to an otherwise house hold track.
Speaking to Dave he provided insight behind the creation; “I love Las Vegas and hanging in seedy casinos, I like hanging with the girls that work there, be they bartenders or dancers, they are always fun and have loads of stories. One asked "so......where are you staying?" I replied "I'm not, I have the mothership double parked down the street and have to get off this planet by dawn”.
“As I was watching the big hitters gamble serious money, power men playing games, I watched several lose lots of money. Casinos have no windows or doors that allow daylight thru hence the words "Aint no keys aint no locks, check the time on my gold watch" it’s all about gluttony in a room with every sin going on. I love to watch but not my scene, so in the song I take the best-looking dancer girl with me back to the mothership, Burn the House (like Sodom and Gomorra) and jet off back to my solar system (like you do).”
An all-round awesome track packed full of joviality, intensity and potency. It never disappoints.
A mouthful of a title, ‘Phantasmagoria’ is a catchy cacophony with excellent lyrics. Winner of the band’s competition of ‘name that song’, Elanor Clifford, came up with the title based on the song lyrics denoting the idea of being in love with an image or a person via social media.
Brilliantly orchestrated and perfectly laid out, the track is the signature of the EP and a perfect end to what is a long fan wait for new music. Throughout the song there are hints of a Dire Straits feel and those with good musical ears will notice some comparisons to Gladys Knights ‘License to Kill’. It’s a another classic by THE OUTLAW ORCHESTRA and one that will sound awesome live.
Dave explained “The song was born from me leaving my Facebook page open and girlfriend, Cathy, saying "who is that chick, do you know her (some bikini model)" I said "sure I know her" she said "you like her?" I said "no....I love her, she loves me but she doesn't know it, yet". Cathy then said "well why don't you write her a song".
“I showed the chords to Alex who was listening to a podcast about social groups, a marketing thing and the whole time he was thinking about this song, the speaker on the podcast said "you've got five types of people, a million words, you've got Jocks and princesses and my personal favourite...nerds" he went on to say "you have criminal classes in so many places, I tend to look to the crowd and spot the basket cases"
And the rest is history.
All in all, ‘God Knows We Tried’ represents a new era for the Outlaws, with a new member, a new sound and more direction will help lift the band to the heights they deserve. Dave, Alex, Ryan and Pete will continue to provide music lovers with leg slapping harmonies, storytelling merriment and downright fun for years to come.
Grab a copy of their new EP here:
Or get yourself to one of their upcoming gigs: https://www.facebook.com/pg/theoutlaworchestra/events