In 2012, musical mastermind David Wheeler formed two bands simultaneously. The first and more commercially viable at the time was the Metal act, Carousel, which ended up getting signed to Tee Pee records. Starting as more of a side project was Outsideinside, a much bluesier, 60s- and 70s-Rock influenced project.
In September of 2016, Carousel ended and the focus was shifted to Outsideinside.
Outsideinside originally started as a trio with David providing guitar work and vocals, Jim Wilson on bass and drummer Panfilo DiCenzo. Later on, the trio expanded and added the Harlan Twins’ James Hart on guitars and keyboards, thus filling out their sound.
On March 6th, Outsideinside will release their second full-length album II. Filled with all the gritty, bluesy goodness of the Classic Rock pioneers, this is an album from a local band that belongs in nearly everyone’s collection. ZZ Top, Spooky Tooth, and Free are just a few of the Blues-Rock bands that Outsideinside channels and those influences are clear from the start of the album with the opening strains of “My Mother’s Son”. The song opens the album with the unmistakable gritty sound of Blues guitar, thick with mids with the drums driving the beat with what almost seems like deliberately retro EQ.
The first thing that I noticed on this album was that, while the production was clean, it was missing the polish and crisp, clear, almost antiseptic sound of so many modern bands. A quick listen to some Classic Rock and it’s clear this was done intentionally to emulate the pioneers of a genre.
That emulation carries through to the call-and-response at the end of “My Mother’s Son”, which ends in a nicely harmonized synchronized solo.
There are several places on the album where the organ is enough to satisfy the most ardent of Doors’ fans. “Sisterman” starts out with tasteful interplay between the guitar and the organ, however the intro of “Fine Line” is where this interplay is at its best. While there is a bass playing, the keyboard line feels like a Robbie Krieger bass line and one almost expects Jim Morrison to start singing.
David’s vocals are raspy and powerful throughout. Though raw, he maintains the soulful quality long associated with the Blues.
“In Your Mind” and “Top 10” are straight-ahead, four-on-the-floor rockers. If you want to cut loose and do a little headbanging, these are your tunes. These two gems immediately stood out as my favorites, although picking favorites on this album isn’t easy.
The musicianship on II is solid throughout. “Eventide” is the album’s ballad and the guitar work is highly reminiscent of Larry Carlton’s guitar work.
If you enjoy solid Classic Rock or Blues Rock, then you definitely need to grab a copy of Outsideinside’s II on March 6th.