Fri 7th July 2006
Oof, this EP by Leicester's Outburst packs quite a punch. The title track 'Cleric' swaggers up to you like a drunk looking for a fight, swinging punches all over the shop - although unlike the drunkard in this metaphor, nearly all Outburst's punches hit their intended target. Namely, this reviewer's not-inconsiderable ears. The guitars are suitably fuzzed up, creating a dense sound that fits well with the trashy, Kyuss-esque drumming and the somewhat generic (but with stoner-rock it never really seems to matter) vocals. Although not always pitch-perfect, they remind me of Joe from Gonga, if he was a 9-ft town crier (replete with tri-corner hat, natch), with a touch of Ozzy.
Whilst the majority of this 4 tracker is of the mid-paced, stoned-but-not-too-stoned variety, tracks like the presumably car-based 'Stick To The Road' and 'Motorcade' kick out the jams in an appropriately drag-strip fashion.
So far, so expected, but for all their competent manhandling of the stoner-rock manual, one of Outburst's saving graces (and the main success of this particular release) is the succinct song lengths. None of the tracks presented here exceed 4 minutes - where many other bands of the genre will drag that great riff well into the boredom zone, this lot steer clear of lengthy jamming which may otherwise let your attention wander.
Having said that, the bonus track exceeds the 5-minute mark with it's Sabbathy groove, but this is the bonus track and they've recognised that and it's ok.
I recommend this for fans of good, honest fuzzy doom-tinged stoner rock - it might be a bit on the predictable side, but for a young band from our own fair isles, you can do a lot worse.