The Outlaw Orchestra – Pantomime Villains (Self Released)
Southern rock. Check.
Flamenco. Flamenc what? It’s there.
Pantomime Villains is either a crime against music or a brilliant and boundary-busting artistic smash-and-grab.
We’ll go for the latter.
There’s double bass.
There’s the luscious tone of lap steel.
And there’s balls-to-the-wall electrified rock.
Somehow, from somewhere, The Outlaw Orchestra have outshone the opposition.
David Roux and his merry men have reinvented the wheel.
They’ve rewritten the rock and roll rulebook.
And they’ve done it with a great big smile slapped right across their faces.
Opener Take A Bow is simply terrific.
It’s a rapid-fire introduction to what this band does best.
And that’s just a snapshot of The Outlaw Orchestra’s mind-bending talent.
A record that could become over-complicated and self-indulgent is neither.
It’s very, very clever and very, very cool.
Tunes like Chicken Fried Snake and Whiskey Drinking Liar capture Roux and co. at their riotous best.
But there’s a laid-back vibe underpinning Pantomime Villains.
And it’s the perfect album for a lazy, hazy summer day.
This is a band best enjoyed with a cold beer and a cheeky smoke.
Even better enjoyed with friends at a socially inclusive, post-lockdown party?
That day will come.
Until then, Pantomime Villains is a magnet for optimism.
It’s the soundtrack to something better.
And a reminder that ‘rock’ remains a genre without rules.
*Main Image: Two Finger Media