UK band THE ASIF OUTLAWS is, from what I understand, a fairly recent addition to the UK music scene. They have one album to their name so far, the self-titled debut album “The Asif Outlaws”, which was self-released at the start if 2017.
What Asif and his outlaws brings to the CD and to the stage is diversity and a certain aspect of English eccentricity. As far as album experiences goes, this is one that will cater to those whose tastes in music is eclectic, and especially those charmed by a certain DIY ethos to the art of making albums.
There are several aspects to this album. There are outliers, like one track that sounds not too far away from early Madness in terms of sound and style, or like the massive concluding epic Commitment Phobe that reach out towards the realms of progressive rock in terms of structure and execution, with it’s elongated solo sequence as a clear highlight. On other occasions dark toned guitar riffs with a slight nod in the direction of Tony Iommi makes appearances, and we’re also treated to a cut or two exploring blues and blues rock oriented escapades. In between these we have calmer material with more of a ballad oriented style to them, and quite a few harder edged affair that in my view comes across as hard rock with a wee bit of punk attitude tossed in for good measure.
The just about constant use of the saxophone, and the manner in which it is employed, makes me think about obscure UK cult band Inner City Unit at times, and as my understanding is that this was also a band of a fairly eclectic nature at times, I suspect that comparison is fairly sound as well. The saxophone bursts, overlays and soloing is perhaps the main reason for this comparison though, and ardent fans of ICU may well object as well. But from the material I know from that band, this is a case of two bands exploring if not a similar then at least a sometimes comparable universe.
Otherwise I note that mix and production tends to be somewhat rough on this production, and some tracks do sound like they have been recorded if not live on stage then at least live in studio, without too many overdubs or post production details easily spotted. Which gives this album something of a lo-fi feel at times, so audiophiles will probably find this album somewhat lacking in that department.
Eclectic and somewhat eccentric rock is what The Asif Outlaws provides us with on their debut album. Music that I suspect live and breathe much better on stage than on CD, but a CD that does have it’s charms and golden nuggets spread throughout as well. I’d carefully state that fans of bands such as Inner City Unit might want to investigate this one, as well as those generally fond of eclectic rock music where the use of the saxophone is a central and often dominating element.
My rating: 68/100
Down the River, Imaginary Hero, Love Pump, Care, Hushabye Mountain, Goat’s Cheese, Mother Nature’s Daughter, Believe, Break the Key, She’ll Eat out Your Eyes, Sunlight, Commitment Phobe