Outlander - Princess Drive

Think Blink 182. But with a more alt-rock stance. And a little bit of emo
thrown into the mix. The album starts out with "Simplify," which sounds
like a slowed-down, lighter version of Blink 182. The vocals have a
slightly emotional urgency to them. The second song, "Ebony," starts out
slow with a single guitar strumming and then blows up into a feast of power
chords and screeched vocals. Whatever the effect the band was going for, it
doesn't work. "Fate" starts out slowly and takes about 2 minutes to build
up to its power chord zenith. It's pretty straightforward angsty alt-rock.
"Alison" takes the band back to a punk track and it's about time. The rock
lasts through "Sunburst," but everything other than the vocals and the
guitar sound muted. "The Inside" takes Outlander back to emotional alt-rock
territory for a pretty good song. "From the Edge" is some bizarre attempt
at playing reggae that does not work at all. The guitar sounds out of sync
with everything else. I don't even want to talk about this song anymore.
The rock resumes on "Rest" and sticks around through "Loose Ends." The
all-important rock is quickly depleted by the album's closer, "Know It
All," an acoustic number that really bores me and makes me wish my CD
player would hurry up and switch to the next disc. This album is *far* too
uneven. Outlander explore many styles here, and the emotional stuff seems
to work best. Keep it rocking and make it emotional, guys. And the vocals
blare WAY out over the rest of the music. Mix them a little lower next time
and you just might have a winner. As for "Princess Drive," it's not bad,
but it's not the best album of 1999. Outlander should've just taken a
couple songs from it and put them on a 7".
...john heisel...

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