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Band of Outsiders | Sound Beach Quartet

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Rock: American Underground Rock: Americana Moods: Featuring Guitar
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Sound Beach Quartet

by Band of Outsiders

Produced by David Lee at his Sound Beach studio. 4-song mini-album of brand new recordings from the NYC band founded in 1980; often seen as successors to Velvet Underground and Television, for their particular two-guitar sound.
Genre: Rock: American Underground
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  Song Share Time Download
1. As It's Written
4:08 album only
2. One Life Is Not Enough
4:42 album only
3. Gods of Happenstance
5:16 album only
4. Trickle of Love
6:11 album only
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Band of Outsiders were formed in New York City’s East Village in October 1980, and regularly played clubs in NYC and throughout the northeast for most of that decade. Ivan Kral produced recordings of the band, two of which were first released in 1984 on a shared album with Certain General called “Far Away in America”. These and other tracks were subsequently released in 1985 in the UK and Europe (on the band’s own “Everything Takes Forever” and “Up the River”). For the “Far Away” release the band, with Certain General, made its only tour of the US south and both groups’ first visit to the UK. In 1985 Band of Outsiders spent about half the year in the UK and Europe; especially in France, where they recorded as well as toured. The group broke up at the end of a European tour in May 1987. One-off reunion gigs were performed at CBGB; in November 1988 with guest appearance by Nikki Sudden (resulting in the live album “Armistice Day”), and April 1999 (as part of the club’s 25th anniversary celebration). In October 2008, the group reformed to play a special benefit show, to help raise medical expense money for Bush Tetras’ original bassist, Laura Kennedy. Since then, Marc Jeffrey (guitar, vocals), James McCarthy (guitar, vocals), David Lee (bass) and Richard Maurer (drums) have continued playing, and making new music.

Sound Beach Quartet is the first release of newly recorded songs by Band of Outsiders since their reformation. Produced by David Lee at his Sound Beach studio.

"intriguing songs and with some riveting psych guitar buzzing" ~ Downtown Music Gallery

"A twin guitar fest loaded with emotional ballads and sonic benders" ~ Kris Needs, Trax

"an ensnaring ambience" ~ Art Black, Trouser Press

“quintessential NY guitar group” ~ Bucketfull Of Brains

"atmospheric LES psychedelic garage legends" ~ Lucid Culture



to write a review

Jessica Doh

great sound
Great sound!


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. They’re at Local 269 tomorrow night, June 5 at 9 PM on a great bill with Lakeside all-stars Los Dudes opening at 8, then their longtime pals Certain General at 10 and legendary John Cale collaborator and Floor Kiss frontwoman Deerfrance headlining afterward.

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.

Alex Sniderman

I love this!
This sounds fucking amazing!

I've played shows with these fine gentlemen and am proud to call them friends, so I'm putting that on the table in the interest of journalistic integrity—as though I have any... but the point is this recording (engineered and mixed by Band Of Outsiders bassist/audio god Dave Lee) sounds even better than the band does live. I never saw them in their first 80s incarnation, but I can't imagine they performed any better then.

I have a new favorite record! The only thing that sucks is the brevity. More please!

And now that you have my credit card number, please be gentle...