Sound — 9
Infancy was tough for That's Outrageous! A few months before That's Outrageous! released their debut "Teenage Scream," lead vocalist Tom DeGrazia parted with the band. Their on tour guitarist was kicked out. That's Outrageous! was able to acquire a new guitarist and a lead vocalist. This wouldn't be the first time their lineup changed. Doriano Magliano would join Woe, Is Me to provide vocals for them full time. Unfortunately with other factors beyond his control, Woe, Is Me would remain infamous and eventually go under following a diss track by the band Issues.
Former vocalist Tom DeGrazia would come back to the band to record one song (which I'll get to). After every member took ill to his vocals, he was able to get five new members to play in the band. Rise Records dumped them anyway, but fortunately they signed with upstart InVogue Records in June 2012.
"Psycho" is the sophomore album by electronicore band That's Outrageous! It was released on October 16, 2012. It was produced by vocalist Tom DeGrazia, who also mixed, composed, mastered and engineered the album. Other than Tom, the rest of the band is completely new, but not inexperienced. We all go a little mad sometimes, and the title track is no exception. Starting with distorted speech and a breakdown, a firearm cocking is the segue to the new unclean vocalist. It's clear that this album isn't a feel good listen like "Teenage Scream," but that doesn't mean it's not better.
There are 12 songs on "Psycho." They all have a few qualities that make them unique each other. Whether it's the Asking Alexandria-esque "Pretty Little Liars," the all electronic "Vyvanse Trance," or the acoustic song "*67," That's Outrageous! outdo themselves on this album. While That's Outrageous! was not a stranger to metalcore, many dismissed their efforts as not "hard" enough. "Psycho" takes their hard qualities and increases them tenfold. This is most prevalent in tracks like "Stranger Danger" and "The New York Chainsaw Massacre Pt. II."
The electronics, by far, are the most refreshing on the album. I liked the electronics and synth on their last album, but "Psycho" puts them at the front of the album. While they can be upbeat in songs like "Vyvanse Trance," they also take an emotional turn in "Flatliners" and "Paging Patrick Bateman." Other than electronics, That's Outrageous! also sounds great in other portions of the album. The guitars sound better than the last album, most notably the intro to "Paging Patrick Bateman." The drums are used well, and finally face a blast beat. The bass, much like the last album, is great at playing hide and seek.
While the sound is tight, the runtime isn't. I know that when composers get to the point it doesn't need to be a long one, but with a runtime of a half-hour long, I wish Tom had more room for his ideas to stretch out.
Lyrics — 9
While the sound is superb, the lyrics are just as good. Tom DeGrazia knows how to paint a picture verbally, and curbstomp said picture. While you won't find lyrics as optimistic or friendly as "Teenage Scream" on this album, the lyrics are a lot more emotional, even if a majority sound like a scenario from a horror movie. Three songs, however, describe different scenarios than the other 8 (one song is instrumental). "Vyvanse Trance" is about a club, "Home Invasion 101" describes a night out, and I don't know what "*67" is about.
Speaking of Tom, he does the lead vocals on the album, although you wouldn't know it if you haven't looked up the album on Wikipedia. He sounds one hundred percent different from "Teenage Scream." While I like his new voice, I thought his old voice was a lot older and more suited to the music. Many listeners may find Tom's new voice childish.
John Easterly does the unclean vocals on this album. While his vocal range isn't as wide as Doriano's (who wasn't very wide to begin with), his performance sounds stripped, and when combined with Tom's lyrics, makes a more emotional listen. I think Tom does the unclean vocals on "Oblivate," but don't tell anyone.
Overall Impression — 10
Many would think "Teenage Scream" to be a garden variety of electonicore or post-hardcore. Tom's voice on that album could be compared to Devin Oliver of I See Stars. "Psycho," on the other hand, can't be compared to any other album in the scene, other than "Teenage Scream" but only the rhythm guitar sections. That's where the comparisons stop.
That's Outrageous! first effort might've not earned you a song on your most played list. With "Psycho," however, you get 12. Twelve unique tracks that never get old. Although the run time is less than desired, the album is guaranteed to be on repeat.
While there are many great tunes on "Psycho," it is recommended that the listener should enjoy the album in full to compensate for the short songs. Each song is a masterpiece, but when you put those pieces together, you get a masterpuzzle. Track 1 to track 12. Front to back. From first to... you get the idea.
"Psycho" is an incredible feat for That's Outrageous!, and adds to the ethos of the band, and disbelief that they could create it. The last track on the album is the greatest song of all time.