"Sound Beach Time" comprises the music Band of Outsiders recorded at David Lee's Sound Beach studio during 2009-2011, after reforming in late 2008.The entire album contains a dozen songs, and runs over one hour. These songs run the gamut of the band's influences: from 60's British Invasion, psychedelia and folk rock; to 70's hard rock, glam, and punk; to 80's underground (post-punk to paisley); to 90's Americana. Included are the four tracks from 2012's "Sound Beach Quartet" preview release, and eight newly released tracks.
NY Music Daily Review of "Sound Beach Quartet":
Band of Outsiders’ New Mini-Album Could Be Their Best Yet
Formed in 1980, Band of Outsiders became a popular CBGB act and recorded with Ivan Kral of the Patti Smith Group. They called it quits at the end of 1988, seemingly at the peak of their career, after touring Europe and releasing a tantalizingly small output of incandescent guitar-fueled songs. Their swirling, intricate yet powerful twin-guitar sound foreshadowed the dreampop explosion of the late 80s; their post-Velvets songwriting drew apt comparisons to another legendary CB’s band, Television. Band of Outsiders influenced an entire generation of dark psychedelic and garage bands, from the Jesus & Mary Chain to Brian Jonestown Massacre. Reuniting sporadically, and then for good in 2008, they’ve been playing around New York and have a new ep, Sound Beach Quartet that’s arguably the best thing they’ve ever done...
As usual, the twin guitars of Marc Jeffrey and Jim McCarthy are the drawing card here with their edgy blend of jangle and clang. The opening track, As It’s Written has a surprisingly airy early 80s Feelies vibe, working its way up to an irresistibly catchy chorus on the new wave pulse of Dave Lee’s bass and Richard Maurer’s drums, with some deliciously circling tradeoffs between the guitars as it picks up steam. Likewise, One Life is Not Enough opens with spacious acoustic guitar interplay and then turns into a backbeat anthem with bright Tex-Mex guitar that wouldn’t be out of place in the Willie Nile catalog. The strongest track is the absolutely gorgeous, bittersweet Gods of Happenstance: it’s the missing link between Television and the Grateful Dead (there’s a very clever quote in there) as REM would have done it if Peter Buck had been a world-class lead player. The epic concluding track, Trickle of Love first builds slowly and gently, then hypnotically, then majestically as layer up on layer of acoustic and then electric guitar enters the mix. After a Beatlesque bridge and a slide guitar solo that finally sails up with a wailing intensity, it winds out on a surprisingly gentle, ornate note with a handful of piano flourishes. Short and sweet as this is, it’s a fair approximation of Band of Outsiders’ intense, crescendoing live show – and one of the best rock albums of 2012.
NY Music Daily also reviewed that Local 269 show:
"Band of Outsiders reminded how they’re even better now than they were at the peak of their popularity almost thirty years ago. The twin guitars of Jim McCarthy and Marc Jeffrey jangled and clanged and intertwined with a psychedelic chemistry akin to Richard Lloyd and Tom Verlaine in Television, a band they get compared to a lot and deservedly so. Mixing up older songs with new ones from their excellent new Sound Beach Quartet mini-album, they evoked other great guitar bands from years past: the artsy catchiness of the Church; the menacing improvisational stomp of True West; the hypnotic but hooky jangle of the Feelies, and then closed with a rampaging, uncharacteristically loose cover of Shakin’ All Over. But the best songs of the night were the new ones. McCarthy sang the bittersweet, Grateful Dead-tinged Gods of Happenstance as Jeffrey hit his envelope pedal for some terse Jerry Garcia textures; Jeffrey took over vocals on the backbeat-driven, unexpectedly crescendoing One Life Is Not Enough."
Another live review, this one from East Village Radio, covering the 2012 CBGB Festival:
Live Review: Band of Outsiders Played NYC's The Delancey for CBGB Festival
Fri, 06 Jul 2012 14:05:42
There’s been a lot of water under the Williamsburg Bridge since the time I saw Band of Outsiders at CBGB in early ’86, when they shared a bill with Camper Van Beethoven, among others. In between sets I recall overhearing a snippet of conversation between guitarist Jim McCarthy and the Reducers’ Hugh Birdsall, who told him, “That should have been a hit.” Oooh, but what song?! And perhaps Band of Outsiders should have been famous (or maybe they are). But then again, it’s better if all “should have beens” remain unnamed—they’re too hard to get off your shoes.
Since then, Band of Outsiders has parted ways, but in 2008 they re-formed to play a benefit for the late Laura Kennedy of the Bush Tetras. They’ve been writing new material ever since.
With a word of thanks and an offer to play any request to the anonymous “guitar hero” who let him play through his Vox AC-30 amp, Marc Jeffery introduced the first song of the set, Conviction, explaining that it had been recorded in a studio in Paris, near the Pere-Lachaise cemetery. So, the Band of Outsiders have been around the world. But their music still has its roots in the East Village. The complex guitar interplay between Jim McCarthy and Marc Jeffery would evoke easy comparisons to those of Television’s Richard Lloyd and Tom Verlaine. But closer listening quickly requires one to rethink any such association. In each guitarist’s style, there’s something very studied and deliberate: While Marc Jeffery plays the high end of the field, by turns dragging his pick over the strings to produce ringing chords or using sustained single-note leads to widen the parameters of otherwise simple chord progressions, Jim McCarthy seems to prefer a softer, bassier setting for his Strat. His trademark melancholy double-stops hint of missing notes, suggesting seventh chords that occupy the same mythic street corner in Alphabet City where one would imagine strains of the Velvet Underground’s Here She Comes Now . . . right until the subtle influence of Richard Thompson pokes out.
The rest of the set featured Jim McCarthy’s Why Would You? and the more recent One Life Is Not Enough, from the band’s new release, Sound Beach Quartet. Apparently, the evening’s closing number, Dutch Girl Concern, was composed on a boat plying the black waters of the North Sea. A wonderful thing to imagine in a basement on Delancey Street, when temperatures hang in the nineties.
~ David Koral
An Amazon reviewer in California had this to say of last year's release:
5.0 out of 5 stars sound better now than first time around July 4, 2012
For anyone who doesn't know about these guys, they along with Certain General defined a 'sound' that was pretty much at odds with most postpunk sounds coming out of NYC in the early 80's. More Television than the Ramones, they have a unique sound that along with REM, and the West Coast guitar bands from that era like Rain Parade, Dream syndicate, Green On Red, and True West provided a template for hundreds of bands to follow.
Well after a long furlough, they're back and on this EP sound even better than before.
Just check it out, you won't be disappointed.
Band of Outsiders are: Marc Jeffrey (guitar, vocals) , James McCarthy (Guitar, vocals) , David Lee (bass, vocals) , Richard Maurer (drums).