Dave Smalley and The Bandoleros - Join The Outsiders (Cover Artwork)

Dave Smalley and The Bandoleros

Join The Outsiders (2018)

little rocket records

I realize that Dave Smalley may not be for everyone, especially in recent years, as the political landscape has caused some extremely polarized opinions. For the sake of this review, I am going to leave that aside and give credit where credit is due. Dave Smalley provided the voice behind some bands and releases that will always hold a special place in my heart to this day.

Dave Smalley & The Bandoleros is a combined and transatlantic effort that sports members from Spain and Argentina, as well as Smalley himself from the USA. The band dishes up straightforward punk rock, not unlike Smalley’s notable previous bands such as, All and Down By Law. The music is primarily mid-tempo punk rock with big choruses with the added charisma and croon of Smalley’s legendary vocals.

Join The Outsiders features a crisp and full production with admirable song writing throughout. The choruses are memorable and would translate well into infectious sing alongs in a live setting. The songs wax nostalgic in a good way, but also come off as thoughtful and avoid becoming B-side quality extras thrown onto a new LP as some side projects often feel. The familiar vocals and the ongoing and impressive lead guitar work highlight the members’ strong musicianship from start to finish.

The single question that remains for me is how would Join The Outsiders stand up as a stand-alone offering, without the predestined punk rock credibility that comes along with having a vocalist such as Smalley fronting the band. As I stated above, the songs musically are strong enough to stand on their own but it is undeniable that Smalley’s voice is a highlight. On the same hand, the idea behind Dave Smalley & The Bandoleros is one that I admire – as an individual who has traveled worldwide primarily by way of music, fuck borders.

Join The Outsiders is a solid addition to the punk rock collection for both fans of Smalley’s previous catalogue of releases as well as up-tempo punk rock fans alike. Check it out.