There aren’t any surprises on Sligo band 21 Outs ‘Your Day’ EP. The intro to Solution could be any meat, two veg and potatoes song from any generic rock band. It’s lacking some production sauce. Vocalist and lead guitarist Philip Cassidy can carry a vocal melody during a chorus, which over the course of the EP emerges as 21 Outs’ strength. These melodies are on show during the chorus of One Of Those and are coupled with decent harmonies. Both of the aforementioned songs are offset by some ham-fisted attempts at urgency with faux screams. Rather than cranking up the intensity, it comes off as convincing as a Luis Suarez apology.
Been Through Worse shows 21 Outs at their best. It’s their most focused song on the EP and while not overly original, it doesn’t need to be. With the emphasis removed from conventional guitar led riffs, it uses strings to drive the song. It’s all the better for it and stands out as the most fully realised song on the EP. A change in direction is found on the slow building Your Day. When Your Day‘s crescendo does arrive (featuring some brass instrumentation) it produces a satisfying conclusion. Yet Your Day is a frustrating tune in that you have to trudge through a drab intro and a ponderous verse, to get to the good stuff.
21 Outs do show a grasp of putting together some catchy melodies and that should be the cornerstone of producing great songs, yet it’s not enough. 21 Outs don’t show a clear, coherent style to distinguish themselves from the myriad of indie rock bands out there. That results in an uneven collection of songs. 21 Outs are also hampered by an uneven refinement on the mixing of instruments – for instance, the lead guitar sounds very tame and won’t frighten any crows. Even when the distortion is temporarily turned up (not quite to 11) it still feels underwhelming. There are rays of promise peeking out sporadically but 21 Outs require clearer idea of what their signature sound truly is to achieve this potential.