Sound — 7
Although being a fan of electronic rock and electronica, I was already affiliated with metalcore and post-hardcore at an early age. When I first heard of the electronicore genre, I thought to myself, "I could listen to one genre of music instead of going back and forth through metalcore and electronica? That's Outrageous!" I then became familarized with the pioneers of the genre, such as Attack Attack!, Asking Alexandria, I See Stars, and Woe, Is Me. It soon became my preferred music genre. If any of my friends asked me what I listened to, I'd tell them electronicore. If they asked me if I listened to anything else, I'd tell them, "That's Outrageous!"
Unfortunately, many bands change, and that was the situation for Woe, Is Me. After listening to "Genesi[s]," I thought it was the best album ever. My friend disagreed with me, but I told them "That's Outrageous!". He said that the new screamer, Doriano Magliano, was already in a band, and he sounded a lot better than he does on "Genesi[s]." I told him, "That's Outrageous!" I tried asking him what band he was in, but they said I already knew. He was getting frustrated when I wanted to know what band he was in. His face red, I told him, "Just tell me what he was in. Don't be outrageous."
He then proceeded to throw this CD in my face.
After the facial reconstruction surgery, I spent a week in the hospital waiting for the swelling in my face to relieve. The staff cleared me and said I made a full recovery. I put my hand on my face in disbelief telling them I wanted to stay a few more days, unaware of the gauze covering my nose. I grabbed the things I arrived with, including the aforementioned CD. As I walked outside, the wind was fierce. The gauze quickly unraveled from my face. I ran to my car as fast as I could. When I looked in the mirror, my large, Armenian nose I've come to know and love was gone and replaced with a much smaller, Greek nose. Extremely disappointed, I sat in my car, sulking in the drivers seat. Not even the V6 engine could drown my sorrow. I looked at the passengers seat, not knowing the CD was right there. I put it in the changer in my car, and drove home. When I visited my friend the next day, I gave him the biggest hug of his life. He couldn't feel his legs for a few days.
"Teenage Scream" is the debut album by Poughkeepsie-based electronicore band That's Outrageous! The band themselves formed in late 2010 and signed with Rise Records in 2011. I could describe the band in two words. Guess what words they are? Very good.
Being an electronicore band, I expected the standard fare; downtuned breakdowns, death growls over the synth, and breathy, nasally singing throughout. That's Outrageous! uses a slightly different approach. The album begins with "The Poughkeepsie Tapes"; a hardcore intro track. No, not hardcore as in hardcore punk, hardcore as in hardcore techno. Not as hard or as angry as the former but it's so vibrant that I just wanted to dance. All thoughts of dancing ended when I listened to the next track, "Headshot at the Ballet Recital." I pulled over when I heard it for the first time. I nearly had a heart attack hearing the first breakdown on the title track.
While it's clear That's Outrageous! aren't afraid to be brutal, they also have a thought-provoking post-hardcore sound as featured in songs "#Winning," "Teenage Scream" and the like. They also can suit themselves to softer tunes like "Star69." They could even stretch to a pseudo-nu-metal sound in the opening of "The New York Chainsaw Massacre."
With such great instrumentation you wouldn't know they use electronics. The electronics are used frequently and mold to the other instruments quite well. The lead guitar is used when necessary while the rhythm guitar is always the star of the show. The bass is, like always, playing hide and seek with your eardrums, while the drums, which sound great, are begging to be used more.
While the album sounds initially great, it takes time to learn the sound isn't groundbreaking.
Lyrics — 7
That's Outrageous! have a way of expressing themselves lyrically that's different from other bands. While they're inspired by horror movies, you won't see any critics giving them a 1-star in the lyrics department. The lyrics usually range from emotional to kitchy violence. This is usually due to the solid deliveries by two lead vocalists.
Doriano Magliano does the unclean or rough vocals. He is very distinguishable in his performance, usually affiliating himself with a low-mid growl, only going into mids when the moment needs drama and rarely doing highs. While I like his voice many may equate him to a toddler learning how to scream. He also does occasional rapping but not enough to change the overall genre of the album.
Tom DeGrazia is the clean vocalist. If you can get past him sounding like a 1-octave-lower Devin Oliver, he doesn't sound half bad. His voice gives the otherwise feel good choruses a dependable emotional feel. He can make any lyric sound good, like this one:
"I'm gonna take my time tonight
they won't find you in the morning
'cause you'll be
locked up in my truck"
The lyrics, while sometimes cliche and occasionally colorful, know how to rope the listener in.
Overall Impression — 8
That's Outrageous! know how to make the listener feel special. While only their first album they sound like masters of their craft. Considering that other electronicore bands stand out this one takes a slight step back in crazyness but makes up in feel good portions and whimsy, even with songs titled "Re: Why I Killed My Girlfriend." An even weirder song title on the album is "So, I'm Thinking of Starting a Clothing Line," which is ironically one of the hardest songs on the album.
I personally think Doriano would have a lot better time staying in That's Outrageous! instead of jumping ship to Woe, Is Me who lost their lead guitarist. While a loose comparison, if you want to hear where "Genesi[s]" took some of its sound from, listen to "Teenage Scream."
The songs have plenty of life but unfortunately are a tad short. The runtime of the album is approximately 26 minutes and 45 seconds. It looks short but with such tracks full of life you'll end up listening to it for days like I did. Even "What Happens in Azeroth, Stays in Azeroth" doesn't get stale even though the song sounds like it's specifically written for a slow dance at prom.
"Teenage Scream" is the essential electronicore album. While it's not going to scare you while listening to it you may become a casualty. I'd love to get hit in the face with another CD this great.