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Published: 2013/04/27
by Jed Nussbaum

Sallie Ford and the Sound Outside
Untamed Beast

Partisan

In the bygone days when this kind of raw, soulful rock ‘n’ roll was the cat’s meow, it was rare to find a female singer that could snarl and croon and strut with as much authority as her masculine counterparts. In Sallie Ford’s world, gender limitations are one of the only things from that era thankfully not embraced. Full speed ahead with the granny glasses and guitar lines drenched in splashy reverb, but rock ain’t no boys club anymore, and this Portland quartet is all too comfortable meeting you in the abandoned lot for a rumble if you say otherwise.

Untamed Beast lives up to its name, chock full of rockabilly rhythms, garage band attitude, and feral sexuality. Maybe it’s because this album has a more aggressive feel than 2011’s Dirty Radio or the fact that Ford’s voice has lost some of its charmingly puerile-sounding quirks, but when she sings lines like “I can fuck, I can drink/I don’t care what you think” on “Bad Boys,” she sounds decidedly grown up here. Even the mellowest track on the album, the stripped-down, acoustic “Roll Around” still contains enough smoky, lustful splendor to make mama blush.

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