Surveying the Damage

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What set the Outnumbered apart from the countless jangle-pop bands who emerged in the post-R.E.M. era was not simply the quality of Jon Ginoli's melodic and spiky songs, but also the deep conviction of his lyrics -- whether tackling matters of life and death (the psychedelia-tinged anti-war diatribe "Cover Me with Flowers") or those closer to home ("You Need a Babysitter," a biting attack on arrested adolescence), there's an idealism and intelligence to the band's music which never fails to hit the mark. Most profound are Ginoli's explorations of sexual dynamics, with tracks like "She's Gonna Take It Out on Me" and "The Other Way Around" exposing the darkest impulses of the male psyche with bitter honesty. Largely unknown throughout their existence, in hindsight the Outnumbered now seem like one of the most potent bands of their day -- with any luck, Surveying the Damage will finally bring them the attention they always deserved.

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