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Outlaw by Alabama 3

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Reviewed on 7th June 2005.



By Alabama 3

There are few who do country and western techno quite as well as Brixton's Alabama 3. On new album Outlaw the band were apparently inspired by the American mythology of gun wielding cowboy gangs and the realisation that we reserved Brits don't have any of the same sepia tinted glorification of criminals. Setting out to rectify this there is of course a song dedicated to Great Train robber Bruce Reynolds and his "firm" as well as various samples of husky cockney gangsters through out.

Once in their world of combining beats with harmonicas and decks with duelling banjos this is a pretty enjoyable ride. The band are at their best when they go for the obscure groove over the customary diva led pop. Single "Last Train To Mashville" may have some of the worse lyrics on the album but it sets the tempo nicely sounding like The KLF doing Bluegrass. Main highlight comes in the excellent "Hello... I'm Johnny Cash" conjuring up an equivalent scene to the one in Spartacus, only this time with cowboys standing up, clutching their chest and yelling "No I'm Johnny Cash". "Up Above My Head" is a great blend of riff and beat and is sure to please festival tent goers everywhere.

The biggest clue for getting this album comes in the coining of the term "Mashville". It needs little explanation that if you know where it is, this album is something you'll greatly appreciate.



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