Following last year’s ‘Teenage Scream,’ That’s Outrageous! have released ‘Psycho,’ a beautiful marriage of hardcore and electronic elements that brings more complexity to the clean-singer/screamer vocal dynamic.
There are a lot of things going on in ‘Psycho.’ Starting off with an explosion of screaming, intense drums, and crazy guitar, the title track is loud and chaotic in the most organized way; everything is happening for a reason. The intensity of the song is not tempered by anything melodic, and hits you in the face with energy. This intense part of this band’s personality shows through often, like in ‘Stranger Danger’ and ‘The New York Chainsaw Massacre Part Two.’
But then there is a different aspect of this album: the super pop-influenced dance electronica that is ‘Vyvanse Trance.’ The vocals are riddled with effects, the 80’s synth is overwhelming that the lyrics are very cliché and overdone. The whole song is overdone, but it is well done. This track is not characteristic of ‘Psycho’ as a whole, and it is a bit like they stuck in a trendy song to keep up with what’s popular. ‘Home Invasion’ reads the same way, if not a little tongue-in-cheek, but still, it doesn’t seem right to toss these tracks into the mix.
The beauty of this album lies in the combination of the intensity and pop sensibilities. This is where That’s Outrageous! rises above the norm and creates a unique sound. ‘Pretty Little Liars’ and ‘Obliviate’ demonstrate this perfectly, with heavy metal guitars and hardcore drums mashed up against electronic dance beats and effects. The pretty, clean vocals are the perfect contrast to the screaming, and manages to bring you the best of both of these two genres in one song.
This isn’t your typical melodic/hardcore partnership. There are a lot of elements at play here, and ‘Psycho’ manages to work in not only a perfect harmony of genres, but sprinkles in dramatic, gothic piano and acoustic guitars, giving them a balanced, well-thought-out succession of twelve tracks. Despite the minor mishaps of overdone electro-pop, this album truly is an innovative and interesting effort. There is a recognizable sound to ‘Psycho;’ That’s Outrageous! have carved out a niche for themselves in the current scene, and ‘Psycho’ only brings them staying power.
‘Psycho’ by That’s Outrageous! is available now on InVogue Records.
Words by Jenny Gagas.