Album Review: The Links – Outside

The Links are a band who offer psychedelic and surf rock for fans of Tame Impala, Deftones and Radiohead. They’ve just hit my radar after appearing on an Instagram story from @britpopglory. Their new album, technically their fifth full-length, is also a bit a reintroduction for them. Five years have passed since their last album and for their latest, The band have struck out in a new direction and provide a new sound. It’s called Outside.

By Graeme Smith

The album opens with its title track. An eerie, cosmic soundscape sets the atmosphere before we get some slow brooding indie rock. There’s something instantly recognisable about The Links’ sound, but at the same time there’s a compelling uniqueness to it as well. Pleading vocals complete the picture as the opener builds to its sweeping, cinematic chorus. It’s a beautiful start.

Calice ups the tempo with an urgent, clashing arrangement. Lively drums set the pace while helter-skelter guitar provide texture. Dive opens with an experimental and discombobulating intro before we get some thought-provoking jazz rock and breathy vocals. It’s a highlight.

Contradiction goes heavy with the bass creating a rich, enveloping soundscape. Excess is jangly, dirty, riff-filled rock before Try To Change welcomes us to the heart of the album with a smouldering melancholic yet cathartic Brit rock arrangement. It’s another highlight.

We Got Time is lush and emotionally stirring, returning us to the softer, dreamy side of The Links’ sound introduced at the start of the album. Levity is introduced by a minimalist instrumental before giving us the band at their most soulful. Dive Return is a short, noodling vignette before Aspartame closes the album with an intimate and pacy rock highlight.

Outside is out now in all the usual places. Those who go for a physical or Bandcamp copy will be rewarded with two bonus tracks. You can also check it out below.