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Album Review

Outspoken have never quite been able to stay with a stable lineup or on a single record label for very long, which makes the epic, double-album-length Spotlight sound either like a statement of defiance or a valiant last gasp, depending. That's depending on which of these 28 tracks is playing, actually: this is a terribly uneven, though quite often impressive, album. A few songs, most notably the plodding "A Light in the Dark" and the ten-plus-minute "Prisoner," bring on a stoner metal vibe akin to late-era Black Flag or the more mainstream moments of the Butthole Surfers, but it's not a style that fits either the songs or the band particularly well. It's on the short sharp shocks of the old-school hardcore tunes that John Coyle's snarling vocals and Mike Hartsfield's riff-heavy guitars are in their proper element, and these songs are as good as anything the band has done. Still, with nearly 80 minutes of hardcore punk — a style of music best enjoyed an EP at a time — this is at least four times too much to be consumed in a sitting. Treat Spotlight as a series of 7" singles gathered onto one disc and it improves dramatically.


Formed: 1990 in Louisville, KY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s

Rowdy and raucous are the men of Outspoken, a gnarling punk-pop five-piece hailing from Louisville, KY. David "E" Frazier is the brainchild behind Outspoken, for he had a brief record deal at the dawning of the new millennium, however, shady details made him leave his hometown of Nashville for the hills of Kentucky. There, he placed an ad on the Internet in hopes of getting a band together. The only one who responded was guitarist Kevin McCreery and Frazier was amped. McCreery drove 600 miles between...
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Spotlight, Outspoken
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