The Outsiders

The Outsiders

The title tune is a raging outlaw anthem full of stadium-sized hard-rock riffs, but it's followed by the sparsely produced, intensely inward-looking ballad "A Man Who Was Gonna Die Young." Church manages to maintain the dynamic tension between these two poles throughout the album; "A Cold One" and "That's Damn Rock & Roll" explode with bluesy, roughneck rock licks, while "Talladega" and "Like a Wrecking Ball" stick to an impressively soulful simmer. The most strikingly ambitious track falls outside of this template, though; the eight-minute "Princess of Darkness/Devil, Devil" is an ode to surviving Nashville that starts with a poetic spoken-word piece and segues into a grinding blues-rock stomper. Now, that's how an outlaw rolls.

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