Hunter Thompson said it best: "Music has always been a matter of Energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel. I have always needed Fuel. I am a serious consumer. On some nights I still believe that a car with the gas needle on empty can run about fifty more miles if you have the right music very loud on the radio."
The Outfit TX offer that singular music to swerve and dip, the type to carry you across state lines on gasoline fumes and hammering volume. Play their music softly on weak ear buds and it’s like hitting the spliff without inhaling. Don’t drive this in the wrong gear. If handled correctly, that slab with the needle on empty can turn into a spaceship that warps to the strip club at light speed.
The Dallas trio’s fourth album, Fuel City, is meant to test the limits of your automotive, sonic, and nervous system. These are deep shattering grooves. Bass lines sound like cluster bombs. Drums rattle like a hemorrhaging threat. The lyrics are immediate but slightly ominous.
It’s title comes from the spiritual and physical crossroads of Dallas life. Fuel City is a Lone Star institution and mutation: a place where you can pet a zebra and fill up your tank for cheap. You can eat a taco and gawk at an oil derrick, an ancient windmill, and the drunken mobs that converge to pick up, stock up, and stunt.
In the words of Mel from the Outfit, Fuel City is almost like the stage in Paid in Full: “you can be one of those people that goes uptown and parties with the rich white folks or you can be at the most ratchet hole in the wall booty club, but you’ll meet at Fuel City.”
The Outfit occupy a similar nexus. Over the past four years, they’ve alchemized a narcotic blend of haunted interstellar crawlers and rowdy tear-the-club up music. Mel, Jawhawk and Dorian meld strains from Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, and Memphis, but have created their own singular genre of slightly paranoid party music.
Fuel City might remind you of bible material from Triple Six Mafia, 8Ball & MJG, and UGK, but they’ve crossed that point where they sound like nothing but themselves.
Their latest gem is 10 bangers, best heard at obscene volume and velocity. This is The Outfit on Supreme Premium 93, a full sack of kush in the car and the Backwoods already twisted up. Do the dash, get in and get out.