The fist-pumping debut full-length record by Kalamazoo, Michigan’s OUT is an emotional wallop culminating a year of fizzy water, cold basement practices, h.o.t. basement practices, Yahtzee with Buddies, trips to the beach, broken gear, tea, fixed gear, MRIs, bike rides, walks and a metric tonne of good vibes on the regular.
OUT is Isaac Turner, Chafe Hensley and Mark Larmee – also of the acclaimed Michigan rock/roll band Minutes – joined in this new endeavor by TJ Larmee on the bass guitar.
The anthemic-yet-intimate album’s title “Swim Buddies” hints at the pull that Lake Michigan (and Lake Superior, when they can get there) has on the band. TJ and Mark were married on the shores of that gorgeous beast, and it’ll forever be connected to the band and this record in all the right ways. You should really swim at sunset sometime to get the full Technicolor panoramic trip.
OUT’s music is all about the interplay between seemingly simple lines (vocal blurts / guitar riffs) that come together to make a whole larger than parts. Water, and the lack of water, worms its way in the songs: dust and silt covering the Earth after we’ve finally ruined it; flood waters rising to consume the entire town (it’s something we did, pretty sure); the water we need to fill us up after foolhardy endeavors. The water is always there, and its absence will be crucial.
Man, it’s like Dune up in here all of a sudden!
The record isn’t all that dire: Mormons and LBJ and White Bison get their due as well.
Limited to 300 vinyl copies, “Swim Buddies” was released in February 2017 on Comedy Minus One.