Once you've dragged yourself
away from the CD cover of 'Outlaw'. the second release from Trajik, it's
hard to tell who's going to enjoy this album, maybe Phil Vincent fans or
Trajik ones only?
The songs here are either straight up rock or ones that the band experiment with, and they're the ones that are going to be hard going for your average rocker out there.
Not many rock albums begin with a ballad, but the band, see to that with 'In The Name Of ...', which doesn't quite get out of first gear at all, the keyboards smothering the song, and it's not until half way through that the first guitar appears, but it's too late to save things from sounding dragged out.
Vincent is quoted as saying it shouldn't matter where it appears on the CD. Personally I would rather hear a stronger song to kick things off as an advert for the album.
Now, 'Two Timer' is more like it! Good old fashioned head bangin' guitars, thumping skins and the vocals rasping along, Vincent sounding happy as Larry doing so. The sudden end throws you for a second before the heavier 'On The Other Side' takes over, and it's here where Damian D'Ercole's musical influences begin to show their face, his guitar grinding like a drill through the head and Dirk Phillips drums sounding quite primitive at times.
It's always good for a band to try something out of their norm, but 'You Are Everything To Me' is verging on Eminem territory for most of the song due to the most annoying keyboard and drum work you'll hear on any rock album. Only a meaty guitar blast leading up to the end saves face..
Those darn keyboards continue on 'What You Give', so thankfully another session on those guitars beak up the song just enough to keep it from dying on it's ass!
Two very annoying songs that will be hard for most people to swallow me thinks, yet I'd love to be proved wrong.
Nu-metal styled 'Everything Changes' soon clears the air with a gut busting riff that tears a hole where you don't want another one, probably the heaviest thing Vincent has been involved with for a while. Could it be that D'Ercole has had a say on here? With bands such as Pantera and Killswitch Engage being his thing, you can see how that could be.
Another ballad, 'Forgive Me' creeps in with a lightweight keyboard that turns out to be in the Boston mode, as is 'Just Can't Get Enough' (not the Depeche Mode song), though it does use touches of synth in places. Just when you think the album has settled down, the very dispassionate 'Loneliness' chugs into life, or should that be lifeless, as it ends up being a soulless, droning song that has you reaching for a razor blade if you're that way inclined.
Even the guitar solo sounds too much of an effort and I've got to say, it was one of teh longest 5 minutes of my life listening to this track. Good luck with it!
After another ballad, the slightly more upbeat 'Who's Gonna Make The First Move', the two strongest, proper rock songs bring the CD to it's end. 'Go Down Fighting' and 'Give It Up', all raunchy guitars and drums that at least show that the band can still do the business after all. Such a pity you have to wait to hear the end to get them.
'Outlaw' is definitely an album that needs more than one, maybe two listens to get what Trajik are aiming for here. So with the mixture of blandness and rock to get your head around, it'll be interesting to see how it is received.
Me? I'm quite happy just sitting and looking at the CD cover shot!! Hmm, nice ...
Review by: Bob Baldwin
In The Name Of ...
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