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Album Review: Urban Outfielders – The Grandest Slams
The Grandest Slams - Hidden Home Records
The Grandest Slams is the debut album by the self proclaimed “world’s greatest baseball punk rock & roll band” and that description tells you almost everything you need to know, there is a hefty debt to the Ramones that’s infused with a rock ‘n roll sensibility, and the whole package is delivered with an authentic lo-fi punk quality that is reminiscent of the earliest recordings by da brudders. The Grandest Slams is influenced by an equal love of punk rock and baseball and is due for release tomorrow, the 27th January 2017, and will be available on CD from Hidden Home Records and on cassette via Ronald Records.
Like The Hanson Brothers before them, this is a spin on the classic Ramones sound with a sporting theme, but this time baseball is the inspiration. The album opens in fine style with 3 Strikes, a hammering drum beat and rousing chant leads into some fine anthemic punk rock, you’ve probably gathered that baseball themed punk rock is the mainstay of The Grandest Slams, but tracks like Underneath The Stadium Lights, my personal favourite off the album, channels 1950’s doo wop and blends it with punk rock abrasiveness. There are of course numerous nods to the Ramones back catalogue, in particular on the ukulele tinged track, I Wanna Be Traded, and I’m sure you can work out which song that’s based on without my assistance.
Whilst for me this isn’t a grand slam or a home run Urban Outfielders have by no means struck out with their debut album, there are melodic elements that remind me of the likes of Osaka Popstar and Masked Intruder, as well as obvious comparisons to The Methadones, The Huntingtons and a certain New York quartet. The album has a lo-fi basement recording quality to it that will either endear you to, or detract from, the album depending on your preferences, for me with a few touches on production, especially on the rock ‘n roll influenced numbers, this could easily have been a home run, but even so it gets safely to third base.
You can stream the opening track, 3 Strikes, via The Alternative here
The Grandest Slams can be ordered on CD and tape here