Spin - 2/03, p.998 out of 10
- "...A synth-pop idyll - meditative bleep boogie..."
Uncut - 12/02, p.1344 stars out of 5
- "...Life-enhancing instrumental dance music..."
Out Hud: Phyllis Forbes (guitar, bass guitar, drums); Molly Schnick (violin, cello, keyboards); Tyler Pope, Nic Offer (bass guitar).
Personnel: Tyler Pope (guitar, drum programming); Nic Offer (acoustic guitar, keyboards).
Recording information: Pus Cavern; Rare Book Room.
Out Hud could be described a number of ways in indie-speak, such as "What Tortoise might sound like if their avant-garde jazz and minimalism fixations were replaced by oddball disco and post-punk." Or maybe "Chamber post-punk that shares nothing in common with the Meters-mimic of 5ive Style and the Beastie Boys." Crazier yet, people who caught all the references in LCD Soundsystem's "Losing My Edge" might use a phrase like "This Heat meets Arthur Russell." Despite these comparisons and anti-comparisons, Out Hud is unique, and not just in the indie sense. An instrumental unit who could get by on their nimble, intricate rhythms alone, they adorn their brisk machine-drum patterns and low-slung basslines with a wide variety of instrumentation. Spirals of guitar; patters of bongos, drawn-out notes, and percussive jabs of cello; and waves of keyboards -- both textural and confrontational -- drift in and out of a jumble that often thrives on dub production techniques (reverb, echoing snares, unexpected surges of sound). This, the group's bizarrely titled full-length debut (stranger still are the song titles), is an incredibly creative fusion of several styles of music that winds up sounding like no one else in particular. The obvious references to inspirations are few and few between, and any comparisons have more merit in approach than sound. This 40-minute series of fluid, labyrinthine passages is equally cerebral and hip-shaking, with pulsating grooves and webs of intricate adornments tangling for an otherworldly type of psychedelic dance music. People who had been snapping up this group's vinyl releases prior to this long-awaited full-length can prove once and for all that the slobbering wasn't a put-on. ~ Andy Kellman