THIS debut album by Liverpool great white hopes Outfit has already been called “perhaps the most eagerly anticipated from a Liverpool band in over a decade”, with the city five piece hotly tipped to be Merseyside’s Next Big Thing.
Their progenitors are there for all to hear: LCD Soundsystem, Pet Shop Boys, Franz Ferdinand and Hot Chip are just a handful of the bands whose influences are writ large over Performance.
But they pull off the neat trick of fusing it all together into something new, more tuneful and listenable than LCD and less, well, Pet Shop Boys-ish than Tennant and Lowe.
They sound like a group well into their recording career and Performance is that rare thing, a debut which announces its makers fully formed into the world’s lap.
From Nothing Big’s magnificent opener (although a little too reminiscent of LCD’s Dance Yrself Clean for comfort), I Want What’s Best’s driving pop and Thank God I Was Dreaming’s euphoric synth pop, the group don’t put a foot wrong.
What’s great about Outfit, and about Performance, is that unlike many of their art-rock peers – I’m thinking Arcade Fire and Django Django especially – is that they are as much a pop group as anything else, something which aligns them more closely to early Roxy Music than any other group operating today.
Tight, rhythmic but always, always tuneful, the album makes equal sense both on a dancefloor and in the moshpit. Performance is a terrifically enjoyable pop album with no weak links among its refreshingly tight 10 tracks.