Looking at the list of new releases this summer, one might think it’s still the summer of ’85. Bands like Journey, Night Ranger, Yes and The Cars all have new albums out. Hell, evenWeird Al Yankovic is still going strong in 2011 with a new album titled “Alpocalypse”. So, I guess it’s fitting that one of my favorites from the mid-80′s are back with a brand new album as well. The album is titled “RePlay” and it’s by none other than The Outfield.
The new album is chock full of memorable hooks, sunny harmonies and multi-layered guitars, just like how the band sounded back in their heyday. It’s almost uncanny how lead singer Tony Lewis can hit those high notes as he did way back when. It’s also great to see drummer Alan Jackman back in the fold. Jackman has been sorely missed over the years and so his presence and his style of playing has obviously re-energized the band. As a matter of fact, the new material has a focus and drive that hasn’t been heard from the band since 1987′s “Bangin’” album. This might also be related to the fact that main songwriter/guitarist John Spinks has been battling some health issues these last few years which may have given him all the more reason to put together some “A game” material this time out.
With all three original members in place, the band seems revitalized. And RePlay, with its upbeat and oh-so melodic tunes, is a perfect addition to this summer’s soundtrack. It’s too bad the band won’t be out on tour this summer to support the new release. Spinks is still dealing with health issues so live gigs are unfortunately out of the question. Anyway, purchase the album, turn up the volume and have a rockin’ retro summer!