FAILURE IS NOT AN OPTION
Released on May 24, 2019 (BMI Music)
Minnesota rockers Outlaw Saint included the following message on their package to the Sleaze Roxx headquarters: “Please review immediately! Contains a “raw n’ raunchy” rock opera from Minnesota’s Own Raw n’ Raunchy Rock Band!” The first three words were capitalized on the package. Be careful what you wish for. I will review Outlaw Saint‘s album Failure Is Not A Option right away but mainly because unlike most albums that I review, I do not need to listen to it many times over before rendering an opinion. This is an easy one to review after one listen. There is no way to sugarcoat it. This is awful stuff!
I was wary when I first looked at the back of the CD case since there were 17 listed songs. Most bands have a hard time coming up with two or three truly memorable songs, let alone a full EP or album of outstanding tracks. How was this unknown (to me) Minnesota rock band going to have 17 truly memorable songs on what I assume is its debut album. As it turns out, many of the “tracks” are actually narrated by the various characters in the raw n’ raunchy rock opera / story so there are actually only 12 songs rather than 17. It’s hard to make out the exact story from the songs and narrative offered on the album. Luckily, the back of the CD indicates that Outlaw Saint‘s opera is based on a true story consisting of die hard rocker Quentin King‘s unbreakable dedication to music being put to the ultimate test. Will Quentin King find his true calling in life given the following obstacles — falling in and out of love while facing divorce, depression, heartbreak and a host of insurmountable odds?
The story is actually a little dull or ordinary. After all, 50% of marriages end up in divorce or separation in the United States of America. So whether divorce happens due to someone pursuing their music dream or whatever else, it’s not like this is that big of a deal. During the narrated track “I Got That Job”, the female advises the male (Quentin) that she found a job two hours away and that she decided to take it without even consulting him about it. Again, it seems that the relationship just wasn’t that strong if one partner is willing to make such a life altering change without even consulting his/her partner. I am also not sure how that figures in the story of the die hard rocker not being able to pursue his musical dream. What I am getting at is that the story around which the rock opera is based on appears to be a rather generic and at times aimless one. In some ways, it reminds me a bit of the story behind the movie Hair I Go Again with the characters Kyle Kruger and Steve McClure giving everything up for another shot at putting their rock n’ roll band together. I never reviewed the movie (I did review the “soundtrack” to the movie — Bullet In The Chamber‘s One Last Shot EP) but it was a rather dull affair with the only bright spots being what their former bandmates were up to and the various cameos from artists such as Ron Keel.
Now that I’ve covered the rather dull story line for Outlaw Saint‘s rock opera, let’s talk about the music. In my review of Demons Sing of The End‘s second album Wake Up And Enjoy The Ride, I stated as follows: “The good news with the internet these days is that any person can record themselves playing and release a CD. The bad news with the internet these days is that any person can record themselves playing these days and release a CD.” The same thing applies for Outlaw Saint‘s album Failure Is Not An Option. Just like Demons Song of The End‘s second album, the “make it or break it” element to the songs is the singing or lack thereof. Tank‘s singing on Failure Is Not An Option makes Anvil frontman Lips sound like a bonafide powerhouse singer. In other words, Tank can’t sing and it’s painful having to listen to any of the tracks. It’s a shame because the music without the vocals is not bad for a good chunk of the time. There’s some potential with the music. The guitar riffs for the songs “She Gets Me High” and a few others, the names of which escape me (and I really don’t want to listen to the album again), are pretty good.
As I was listening to Outlaw Saint‘s album Failure Is Not An Option, all I could think was how unfair it was for professional and talented acts that Outlaw Saint are able to release a record and even get it reviewed by Sleaze Roxx. Odds are that there are many way better and much worthier albums that could use the exposure but I have spent a couple of hours now on a record that should have never seen the light of day. I wish that I could be more positive in this review but that’s just the way I feel about Outlaw Saint‘s album.
01. Welcome 2 The Show
Act One: Marriage Made In Hell
02. Karma Is A B:+(c)h (The Saga Begins)
03. “I Am Out of Here”
04. Raise Some Hell
05. She Gets Me High
06. No Way Out
Act Two: Between Rock And Love’s Embrace
07. “Getting The Band Back Together”
08. When Fate Lights A Fire
09. Rock N’ Roll Queen
10. The Way She Walks
11. “4-Month Anniversary”
Act Three: Return of The King
12. Evil 1-Track Mind
13. I Got That Job
14. StarCrossed Lovers
15. “I Didn’t Take It Very Well”
16. Back In Fighting Form
17. Push Comes To Shove
Tank – lead, background and gang vocals, vocal narrative
Tommy Joe – lead and rhythm guitar, 12 -string acoustic
IceMan – bass, six-string acoustic, background and gang vocals
Ryan – drums
Dan Osberg – gang vocals (1, 2, 4, 9), lead guitar (6, 8), keyboards (6)
David Lindholm – lead guitar (5), all guitars (16), first and second guitar solo (17)
Tiff Beamer – vocal narrative
Katie Wyrd – vocal narrative
Recorded, mixed and mastered by Dan Osberg
Produced by Dan Osberg and Outlaw Saint
Executive producer: Tank Davidson
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, May 2019
Outlaw Saint‘s “Rock N’ Roll Queen” video:
Performed by Outlaw Saint (c) Copyright 2018 Saints n’ Sinners Music. See if you can catch the cameos of Kelsey Kaasa & Katie Lundberg, bassist and guitarist respectively, of MN’s all-female rock cover band Rebel Queens (http://www.RebelQueens.com).
Outlaw Saint‘s “Back In The Fighting Form” video:
Performed by Outlaw Saint (c) Copyright 2016 Saints n’ Sinners Music. All rights reserved.