Fronted by Richard Hell & the Voidoids guitarist Ivan Julian and featuring Feelies drummer Vinny Denunzio, The Outsets EP on Plexus was produced by Garland Jeffreys with Bob Clearmountain engineering and Bob Ludwig mastering -- a pretty impressive crew on board for the four songs here. And the sound is great. "Dancin' in the Dark" is a far cry from Bruce Springsteen's 1984 hit of the same name and Peter Wolf's "Light's Out." Wolf had changed his title to "Light's Out" from "Dancing in the Dark," and that this hip EP emerged the year before those two stars got the idea to have hits with the same title and theme -- well, coincidences abound in the music biz. Producer Jeffreys certainly knows what is hip, and these four songs rock with a beat that is mesmerizing and irresistable. It's hard to fathom that Julian appears on Bob Pfeifer's After Words, as this unique and exciting disc is the antithesis of what that was all about. Denunzio's drums provide a solid groove for Julian's exotic guitar to glide over on "Iceman." It's short and sweet, four songs that hit you quick and leave just as quickly, but The Outsets is Grade A material, Shriekback meeting Peter Noone's new wave band the Tremblers. Solid pop expanding and collapsing with smart guitars playing against the bass. Super.
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AllMusic Review by Joe Viglione