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Night Beats
Outlaw R&B Laviea Thomas , June 7th, 2021 08:37

Texan band Night Beats take psych-rock to new heights on their fifth studio album, finds Laviea Thomas

Just three years since their fourth studio album, Myth of a Man, Night Beats are back with their latest release, Outlaw R&B, harnessing some of the smoothest guitar riffs we’ve ever seen from them. Released via Fuzz Club Records, Outlaw R&B sees a concoction of eleven guitar-heavy tunes, each one bearing bodying hallucinogenic hooks. Created during global pandemic and in the midst of Californian wildfires, Outlaw R&B is an album reflective of a staggering turbulence of pain and suffering. Written, produced, and compiled amongst a ruckus of complete chaos, the album looks ahead to the light on the other side.

Having released ‘Revolution’, ‘New Day’, and ‘Ticket’ as the first three single releases, Outlaw R&B already has Night Beats fans itching for the album in full. Whilst the narrative of western pop with a pinch of alternative rock is fulfilled throughout, the first three single releases exaggerate a snippet of the dynamic within this album as a whole. ‘Revolution’ speaks for itself, but ‘New Day’ follows with an ironically mellow sound that continues to loop, embodying the slump of feeling lost in a mundane routine. Completing with third single release, ‘Ticket’, this track easily stands out as a rebellious, boisterous, and somewhat politically engaged single, as frontman Lee Blackwell sings, “Why can’t you just go home, back to your sand dune, here we speak our own tongue.”

The 70s-infused ‘Never Look Back’ is easily an album stand out for me, from the moment you hear that first riff go this track continues to dive in its own frantic direction. In ‘Never Look Back,’ Night Beats really harness their rhythm and blues, with Hendrix-inspired riffs and Zeppelin-inspired ad libs. Everything about this track pays homage to 70s fashion, music, night life, all whilst strategically dodging some of the not-so-great parts of that era.

Standing at track nine is the undeniably perfect ‘Cream Jonny’, a song wired with distorted sirens (note to self: how to make a smash hit psych track – add sirens). ‘Cream Jonny’ is moments away from completing the album, and is easily one of the best tracks on here. A track operating on so many levels, it feels like a euphoric acid trip.

In Outlaw R&B, Night Beats staple their genre-binding sound across eleven great tunes.