There are bands that claim to live by the "do it yourself' ethic, and then there are those that actually do it. Usually, it's out of necessity rather than a desire to be seen as genuinely "punk rock." Let's face it — nobody would go to the trouble of pulling a battered old drum kit out of the garbage (as the boys in Outdated Fate did) unless they really had to. However, Outdated Fate honchos Patrick Johnson and Jonathon Kiner seem so set on being zany that one suspects they just might have made that effort needlessly. On YouTube, they refer to their style as the politically incorrect "Giant retard rock!"; on MySpace, the band claims to sound like "a crackhead overdosing." The truth here, however, is rather more interesting than the sound of a gurgling bum, thank god.
Setting all of the bullshit to one side, Outdated Fate is actually a very good garage rock band — nothing more but certainly nothing less. The question is: Will this be enough in a Detroit scene already saturated with similar-sounding bands? Only time will tell, but there's enough on this debut album to suggest that Outdated Fate are worthy of playing alongside the many incredible bands that this city can lay claim to. The songs — "Here She Comes" and "Black Dog Black Cat" are particular highlights — are raw, dirty and fittingly primal. And the musicianship is deliciously basic. For a self-produced record from a garage band, everything sounds incredibly clear, although that process thankfully does nothing to clean up the overall feel of the album.
While the members of Outdated Fate seem a little too keen to play the "gimmick" card, they are in many ways exactly what Detroit rock 'n' roll is all about. In other words, they're released a record on a shoestring budget with knackered old instruments…and yet their undeniable quality still comes shining through.
A word of advice, though, to the wise, boys — the class clown might be funny for five minutes but almost nobody's generally still laughing after graduation.
Brett Callwood writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.