Review | Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside - Untamed Beast

sallie ford

[I]’ve been in need of some good old fashioned, hip-shakin’ rock n’ roll to shake off all that New England snow, and now that spring is almost here I can’t think of a better album to welcome back the season than Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside’s latest Partisan Records release “Untamed Beast,” the Portland, OR band’s follow up to their wildly successful 2011 debut album Dirty Radio.

The smoky, noir guitar chords that kick off the first track, “They Told Me,” set the dial back a few decades to a time and sound when rock was young and rebellion was a quick switchblade. On Untamed Beast the switchblade in question is Sallie Ford’s razor-sharp voice that cuts through the groove laid down by Ford Tennis’ dangerous drums, Tyler Tornfelt’s breakneck bass and Jeff Munger’s crackerjack guitar. There is an undeniable throwback sound to be found here, and if tracks like the swinging “Party Kids” or the hellfire boogie-woogie of “Devil” make you want to do your best Pulp Fiction dance-off then kick off those shoes and get to it.

Untamed Beast is more of a homage to a musical movement than a straight note-for-note playback of an era, and every song benefits from each musician understanding how to present a familiar sound with a modern twist. It’s a seriously fun record that turns the dance amplifier up to 11. Even the quieter tracks “Shivers,” and the album’s closer “Roll Around,” call out for a partner to slowly twirl around under the prom lights. In the last song “Roll Around” Ford sings, “Just want to live in the 50’s/You can take me on a date/Technology would not exist/And I would have a clean slate,” with a true longing for the simpler time that is presented throughout the album. I sure as hell long for the good ol’ days sometimes, but since they are gone I’ll gladly let Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside take me back through music. All I have to do is press play on my computer……ahhhhh technology!

Take a listen to the fantastic song “Party Kids” above, get yourself a copy of Untamed Beast at Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside’s website store, and check out the tour dates with Thao & the Get Down Stay Down below.

Thao and the Get Down Stay Down w/Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside

March 5 Portland, OR Doug Fir Lounge
March 6 Vancouver, BC Fortune Sound Club
March 7 Seattle, WA Neumos
March 8 Boise, ID Neurolux
March 9 Salt Lake City, UT Urban Lounge
March 11 Denver, CO Larimer Lounge
March 16 Houston, TX Fitzgerald’s
March 17 New Orleans, LA One Eyed Jacks
March 18 Atlanta, GA Smith’s Olde Bar
March 19 Asheville, NC Grey Eagle
March 20 Washington, DC Black Cat
March 22 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom
March 23 Philadelphia, PA Underground Arts
March 24 Cambridge, MA The Sinclair
March 27 Toronto, ON Lee’s Palace
March 28 Ann Arbor, MI The Ark
March 29 Chicago, IL Lincoln Hall
March 30 Milwaukee, WI Turner Hall
April 1 Minneapolis, MN Cedar Cultural Center
April 2 Iowa City, IA Mission Creek Festival
April 3 at Record Bar Kansas City, KS
April 5 Albuquerque, NM Launchpad
April 6 Phoenix, AZ The Crescent Ballroom
April 7 San Diego, CA The Casbah
April 8 Los Angeles, CA Troubadour