Neurotic Outsiders

Neurotic Outsiders

Maverick / Warner Brothers Records, 1996

REVIEW BY: Bill Ziemer


Featuring one of the most interesting combinations of musicians assembled in recent memory, the Neurotic Outsiders are a surprising group. The lineup features Steve Jones from the Sex Pistols, Matt Sorum and Duff McKagan from Guns N' Roses, and most suprisingly, John Taylor from Duran Duran. The lineup in itself is interesting, featuring members from three of the most recognized bands in history. The Sex Pistols took punk to the mainstream. Guns N' Roses still have one of the biggest selling debut albums ever, at over 11 million copies shipped. Duran Duran anchored the 80's as a pop staple.

What is even more interesting is that this unusual combination turned out a suprisingly solid album. When I first heard of this band, I figured the album would be a mess of different styles and muddled messages. In reality, the cranked out a very solid hard rock album. It's not that this is a breakthrough album, it's not. It's just an enjoyable listen that has the ability to relate a mood.

The album starts out poorly, "Nasty Ho" is a lame track about, you guessed it, a raunchy hooker. Lines like, "Yeah you...feel so good...dick is like a stiff hard piece of wood" are a real head scratcher. It gets better, "But you don't mean a thing if my ding dong don't swing". Hmmm.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Fortunately, the album gets better from here. "Always Wrong" has simple chord changes and a thumping rhythm that makes you want to grab a beer and crank the stereo up to 11. The theme is one we all know, a troubled relationship. Ever feel like no matter what you say or do, your partner will always find fault with you? These guys sum it up well with lines like, "You're the kind of pain I can do without." This isn't to say that you should throw in the towel every time you have trouble, but when it's hopeless, this song feels like I have felt many times.

"Good News" is another relationship hate song that has a cool melody and a bitter message that I'm not sure I agree with. "The good news is, you're dying, the bad news is, I'm alive" summarizes the message. I guess I don't agree because I've never hated anyone this much. Regardless, my job here as a reviewer isn't to rate every song based upon my own morals. My job it to rate the song based upon how well the song is done, which it is, very well.

My favorite is "Feelings Are Good", another song about pain that features a catchy drum beat compliments of the very polished Matt Sorum. What's interesting here isn't the message of pain, which we all know of and have heard before. The interesting passages speak of pain in a way that we usually don't think about, that pain is sometimes good for us. It brings us somewhere. It also speaks of pain and the confusion that surrounds it. "This feeling thing has got me not knowing what to do...with the feeling."

Neurotic Outsiders is a dark album not suitable for a cheery date. But it's very human, and speaks of things that most of us have experienced before. (Even "Nasty Ho" is human - if it wasn't popular, it wouldn't be the oldest form of employment) Although the message gets repetitive, this is still a good album. If you're the lucky one who hasn't felt this dark thing called pain, it may help you to purchase this album to experience what pain is like, because you will feel this way when you listen to this album. For the rest of us, this album speaks in simple terms that makes us realize that we're not alone. When you listen to this album, you'll say, "These guys feel just like I feel!" The difference is, you've probably never expressed it. We all have a dark side that we hide, stashed like a skeleton in the closet. Sometimes, it scratches to get out. When it does, the Neurotic Outsiders are waiting.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1997 Bill Ziemer and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Maverick / Warner Brothers Records, and is used for informational purposes only.