Outbreak - Work to Death [7 inch] (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review


Work to Death [7 inch] (2009)

Think Fast!

What's the appeal of Outbreak?

That's a lot like asking why people enjoy slam-dancing, hedg-ediving, or skateboarding without pads. It's violent, it's aggressive, it's crass, and it's fun.

Outbreak throws back to the golden days of hardcore, but not in a completely aesthetic way like such similarly great acts as Government Warning, Double Negative and Chronic Seizure. With Outbreak, the crude lyrics, manic shouts and sandpaper riffs aren't homage to the past -- they're the full-throttle effort of a band whose initial ambitions exceeded their correlating abilities. But that's kind of the charm. And while they've grown musically and lyrically since, the offsetting youthful vigor has helped them maintain a level of rawness that most bands would have lost after six years of touring and putting out records.

Thankfully to rest any doubts that might exist based on the previous paragraph, the band has provided such illustrative examples on their new 7", Work to Death, as the 38-second A-side "Don't Want to Fade (to Death)." Toggling between a heap of gang vocals are the snotty thrashcore vocals á la Common Enemy that separate Outbreak from many of their hardcore peers. While the lyrics may be simple (and let's face it, they are), the tenacity with which they're delivered helps drive home the point that much more: "Don't want to be plain and dull / ... / Don't want to follow your rules!"

Side B is nearly four times the length of the first tune, as "(Work)ing Deads" powers forward with the help of a pummeling rhythm and glass-cutting guitar lead. If you can stomach the off-key wails like most punks should be able to, "(Work)ing Deads" is a juicy hardcore jam, topped off by a fantastic group-shout breakdown to close out the song.

Though brief in duration, Outbreak's Work to Death is an enjoyable taste of the band and will certainly tide those over who have been craving more Outbreak while awaiting the band's full-length followup to Failure.