There’s nothing like coming across a new band, seemingly out of nowhere, that impress you almost immediately. Stay Outside are undoubtedly one of those bands. After releasing one of the singles of the year in “All the Way Down” last year, the four piece have shot into 2019 with the release of their EP Bottle Rocket.
Stay Outside are Aaron Becker (vocals/guitar), Garrett Johnston (guitar), Sean West (bassist) and Noah Mitchener (drums).
Beginning with the aforementioned “All the Way Down”, the EP rockets into listener’s ears. From the explosive opening instrumental, the song quickly settles into Becker’s soothing vocals that are as calming as they are emotive. Maybe it’s because I’ve listened to this song an immeasurable amount of times since its release, or maybe it’s because it’s just THAT good, but I think I know this song like the back of my hand. It is the perfect opening track.
The change of pace as the four-track transitions into its second track, “I Don’t Know” is enormous. Unlike the opening track which seemed to borrow heavily from pop-rock and similar genres, “I Don’t Know” seems to be influenced more so by classic rock.
It’s a moody piece, using subtle electronics in the background to give the track a strong sense of atmosphere and depth. The song is almost hypnotising. It feels like a chill-out track with carefree melodies that intend to calm and relax listeners.
As “Don’t Let Me Go” fades in, it’s a case of another song, another mood. As the sombre notes of an acoustic guitar begin you can only begin to assume the emotional toll the song is going to take on your soul. The song hits hard from the outset, with opening line “I saw my brother die” setting the tone for the EP’s most impassioned piece.
A song about loss, it seems to detail the impact of losing a loved one on a family, focusing primarily on the effect it had on the subject’s mother. It’s a tearjerker and a heavy hitter, and despite the herculean shift in tone, it seems to fit perfectly on the EP.
As the EP ends, there hasn’t been much that Bottle Rocket hasn’t explored thus far. It seems almost fitting then, that the title track seems to be a blend of everything that it’s preceding tracks did well. The track seems inspired by Don Broco, with groovy electronics mingling with crackling instrumentals to create a poppy cocktail.
It’s an effective ending to a unique and enjoyable EP, showcasing the band’s ability to write an infectious chorus whilst also proving the four-piece are more than capable of walking the tightrope that is genre. The song also seems to showcase the moods presented by each of the songs that came before it; sometimes appearing upbeat and carefree, while at other times sounding sombre and sullen.
It’s hard to really say whether Bottle Rocket met my expectations, but that’s only because it turned out to be absolutely nothing like I expected. Despite that, it’s an undeniably enjoyable release that demonstrates the band’s astonishing musical diversity. It tiptoes genre, tone and mood so delicately and it is sure to win the Indianapolis outfit many new fans.
It’s just so short that I wish there was more, and I would’ve loved to see more of what the band did in “All the Way Down”. I loved what they did anyway, but gosh I would’ve loved another track similar to that.
A diverse and enjoyable EP that shows undeniable promise. Despite a short run time it seems to cover so much ground and showcases a lot of ability.