Outbreak - Failure (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Failure (2006)

Bridge 9

I caught Outbreak a week or so at the Bane show here in Syracuse, and they were the only band on that bill who really did not impress me. Granted, I had seen every other band on the bill at least twice, so I was plenty familiar with their songs, but Outbreak's vibe just wasn't cutting it with me.

Fast-forward to a few days ago, when their new record, Failure, showed up at my doorstep.

After a few listens, it became pretty obvious why I didn't dig it in a live setting: because I can't really get into it that well on record, either. A lot of it is my own hang-up on the style, but, I'll give them credit for a well done album. It's clear that everything that they wanted to do came across well on here, the raspily screamed and quickly delivered vocals, the rock‘n'roll style, and lyrics that tackle the most basic of themes in the most basic of fashions. Sixteen songs in 20 minutes' time leaves little if anything to the imagination as the band blazes through songs that often don't eclipse the one-minute mark.

And if nothing else at all, this album is angry. All the pent up rage and emotion the singer must have been channeling before recording this really jumps out in each and every song. Ryan O'Connor's delivery is quick and full of conviction, with some full and effective gang vocals permeating into the record at seemingly just the right times. Not too much to be overdone, but not too little, so as to be forgotten. My only issue with O'Connor is the extremely sophomoric lyrical matter. "Have a chance to speak my mind, but the words -- I can't seem to find / Or maybe I don't know what to say, the answers always fade away" is an example from "Lost for Words" that could just as easily apply to the other 15 songs on the album.

Conversely, working in the band's favor, is the music behind the vocals. They can vary from a slower, more rock‘n'roll sound like on "Lost My Mind," or the much faster, much angrier sound displayed on "Chewed Up, Spit Out," and much of the rest of the record. Either style can work for the band, and the album flows nicely just the same.

It's simply not my style of hardcore, however, I can easily appreciate what they've done and how well they do it. It's sure to be another hit on Bridge 9's hands.