Outlaws: It’s About Pride

It’s About Pride
(Rocket Science)
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Whoever said they don’t make ‘em like they used to needs to gallop up to this new studio disc from the reformed Outlaws. Every Southern rock cliché from the triple lead guitar attack that crops up as often as shouts for “High Tide and Green Grass” at their shows, to songs about hard drinkin’, hard ridin’ and hard lovin’ men is trotted out without the least bit of self-consciousness. Original members Henry Paul on guitar and drummer Monte Yoho are the only cowboys still standing from the band’s mid-late 70s heyday, but the new guys play with fire and conviction and these songs, while not quite up to the level of the band’s best, are more than adequate. Some like the jungle beat driven “Trouble Rides a Fast Horse” and the country chug of “Last Ghost Town” are nearly as good. When the vocal harmonies kick in and the dusty riffs whip out firm and fast, those in their 50s will flash back to the golden years of this genre when Blackfoot, Molly Hatchet, Les Dudek and of course Lynyrd Skynyrd were riding their multi-guitar horses into brief but substantial popularity. If an hour’s worth of sweaty, denim wearin’, boot scuffin’, butt kicking country rock is what you’re hankering for, you won’t find many new albums that deliver those retro goods with as much integrity or pride. In the Outlaws’ world, those good old days are now.