Outformation: Traveler's Rest

By: Dennis Cook

Just two years on from their debut, Tennessee Before Daylight, Outformation has coalesced into a fine '70s style rock machine. Their blue-collar work ethic, relentlessly sturdy compositions and always-sincere delivery – not to mention a knack for finding boogie pockets in the strangest places – has made them into one of the better classic rock torchbearers. Despite seven years as Michael Houser's guitar tech, Sam Holt sounds very little like his mentor. He's bluesier and ballsier, closer in spirit to Mark Knopfler. In fact, Outformation could be the new "Sultans of Swing," taking a pure bar band aesthetic into higher artistic planes. Their reach is strong but throughout Traveler's Rest they remain grounded in the nitty-gritty of forebears like the Ozark Mountain Daredevils ("Winds"), Lynyrd Skynyrd ("Later"), Marshall Tucker Band ("Toy's Song") and the Straits themselves ("Into My Arms"). However, the grand piano charge and mercury reverb haze of the title tune is all their own, a space where one feels the full envelopment of the road. Stick around for the hidden instrumental coda at the end, too. There's also a cool mixture of OK Computer-era Radiohead and Robin Trower on "Anymore." While not everything hits the mark – the instrumental "Edgewater" is a somewhat listless, "SG" veers too close to beer commercial music for comfort and they could use one standout lead singer – there's signs of substantive growth on this sophomore release that speak very well to how this band is evolving.

JamBase | Bad Street
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[Published on: 11/19/07]

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tnfreaker starstarstarstarstar Mon 11/19/2007 04:22PM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

I really dig this album. These guys are getting better all the time. I can't wait to see them in ATL @ Variety Playhouse. I wish they would put out a live album.

cocheese starstarstarstarstar Tue 11/20/2007 06:52AM
+2 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!


TNFREAKER, you can get all their live shows from archive.org these guys rock! my new fav.

Mr. Brojangles Tue 11/20/2007 11:25AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

Really good album, even better live show.

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^› {¬¿¬} Wed 11/21/2007 05:48AM
+1 Votes Thumbs down! Thumbs up!

‹^› ‹(•¿•)› ‹^›      {¬¿¬}

yeah live show will change minds. Sam Holt is Killer on the guitar!!