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Energetic Album Of The Week: Outline In Color – “Outline In Color EP”

I’ll admit it; I totally love going to concerts, moshing, and coming back looking like I got the shit kicked out of me. It’s exhilarating. Due to this, I’m a really big fan of metal, hardcore, post-hardcore, and other related genres. However, I never felt that I could review albums from these genres in my Study Album of the Week series – I mean, who besides me studies to hardcore music?

Well, now that I’m doing Energetic Album of the Week alongside my other series, I have the opportunity to review hardcore and I’m grabbing it by the proverbial horns. Today’s featured album comes from my absolute favorite band, Outline in Color. While it’s an EP comprised of a mere five songs, it packs such a powerful and well-composed punch that it’s garnered more playtime in my Grooveshark queue than probably any other band.

Outline in Color has really exploded in popularity lately; they just crossed the 10,000 Like mark on their Facebook page, and their first full-length album is in the works. Not to sound like a complete hipster or anything (that would be too mainstream), but I’ve been listening to these guys before anyone knew about them. Seriously, I was like the 500th “like” on their page. Their music falls squarely into the post-hardcore genre, and in it you’ll hear influences from bands like Jamie’s Elsewhere, Memphis May Fire, blessthefall, and others. That doesn’t mean their music is generic post-hardcore, though; Outline in Color have an ability to smartly use synth lines to make pretty unique music. Their screamer is pretty damn good as well.

The self-titled EP that is the focus of this review is, as stated above, only five songs long. Four of these songs are straight up post-hardcore, and the last one is a really nice acoustic ballad.

Starting out with “Every Boy Should Collect Knives”, the album gets right to business and promptly kicks your face in. Synth lines follow the rest of the music closely, and they never get overbearing or silly – they simply add an atmospheric feel to the song. The vocal exchanges between singer Jon and screamer Trevor are expertly done as well.

The second song on the EP, “My Other Car is a Time Machine”, is probably my favorite song ever. Starting out with a calming solo piano, the song then goes right into an awesome guitar lead. Synth lines follow, as well as more vocal exchanges. One thing I’ll note about this song, as well as almost all others by this band, is that the lyrics aren’t sung right along with the music – many words are sustained for multiple seconds, which can make the words difficult to understand. Luckily, all of their lyrics are up on Song Meanings.

Outline in Color

Around 2:08, the song breaks into literally my favorite guitar line ever. I’ve probably listened to just that one part over 100 times. If you, for some odd reason, decide to listen to only 10 seconds of this album, listen to that part.

The two hardcore songs that follow are incredible as well, but I’ll let you discover them on your own since I’m not really into doing track-by-tracks.

Be sure to check out the acoustic closer, “Promises”, as well. It’s really good. Also, for the heck of it, I included their acoustic version of “No Bleeding on the Carpet”, which was released just recently.

If you like these guys, be sure to give them a Like on Facebook and check out the rest of their songs (they’ve posted a couple from the upcoming full-length). Also, let me know if you’re into this kind of music, as I have a lot more of it I can review. Peace out!