Pat Todd and The Rank Outsiders – There’s Pretty Things in Palookaville

  • Steven Farkas posted
  • Reviews

Pat Todd and the Rank Outsiders

There's Pretty Things in Palookaville - Hound Gawd! Records

Pat Todd is a staple of the LA punk scene, first with the long running outfit the Lazy Cowgirls and more recently with the eponymous Pat Todd and the Rank Outsiders and while his former outfit obviously owe a debt to first wave punks and influences like The Stooges and The Ramones, his current band have taken that sound and weaved in elements of country, blues and good old fashioned rock and roll.

The quintet’s latest full length There’s Pretty Things in Palookaville, their first since 2019’s The Past Came Callin’ features 16 tracks their unique blend of punk ‘n roll and while it’s fair to say there aren’t any surprises here, especially for fans familiar with their work it offers up the odd pleasant surprise. I particularly like the way that they seamlessly jump from Money, a slightly stripped down street punk anthem about survival against the odds;  “I have fallen short, I have been around, been built up and been knocked down. Yeah Money, never meant much to me”) to Read ‘Em and Weep, a straight up a country ballad as you might expect from a band with such punk rock pedigree.

Album opener All The Years #1 is a blistering start, Cheap Nostalgia gives us a first taste of the blues influence (with obligatory harmonica solo), while Little Jael takes a Good Golly Miss Molly vibe that does its best not to sound trite and just about manages it.

The band are clearly at their best playing high tempo anthems, best experienced live and I Will Lie to You, Hello Mystery and the album’s outstanding moment They’re Wrong/Dead Wrong all fall into this category, expertly bringing together the band’s punk rock energy, cowpunk spirit and flair for a killer melody.

Over the course of the 16 tracks, there are the inevitable ups and downs and a few too many songs that blend into each other, particularly when the pace is slowed down like on Nothing But Excuses, Get On Up it and Turn Back The Hands Of Time, but the highlights far outweigh the negatives here.

Pat Todd and Rank Outsiders remind me of the kind of band that would be playing if you pulled into a roadside bar in the California desert after a long day driving and despite looking for a quiet drink and a burger the band’s infectious energy would have you up swigging whiskey from the bottle and dancing with strangers after a couple of songs. I hope that comes across as the compliment it’s meant to be,

There’s Pretty Things in Palookaville is out now via Hound Gawd! Records