While Musicalypse tends to be focused on hard rock and heavy metal, we do keep our ears open to all genres. It was a fluke that Cory Marks popped up in my inbox and caught my attention. Marks is a Canadian country artist whose influences come from growing up with classic country music, as well as old rock bands like Deep Purple and Ozzy, resulting in a musical style that is very country but with a lot of rock and metal influence.
In my personal opinion, country music took a huge dive in the 00s, when the era of working on farms and going to saloons and riding horses became more of a fashion thing than an actual lifestyle when the modern world overtook the settler/cowboy lifestyle. The newer country singers took the old tropes and steel guitar, but were more or less making pop music (I’m looking at you, Carrie Underwood and Taylor Swift). If you don’t believe me, I dare you to try and survive the song “Honky-Tonk Badonkadonk” by Trace Adkins without vomiting.
That said, when I came across “Outlaws & Outsiders,” my initial thought was, “New country? That bodes poorly.” However, curiosity and the presence of Travis Tritt (who was a legit country name back in the 90s) got me to listen to it and this might be one of the best country songs that’s been released since the pop era took over.
First of all, the song leans 100% into country-rock and 0% into country-pop, which is a welcome change of pace. As well, the inclusion of rock vocalist Ivan Moody [Five Finger Death Punch] in the chorus is kind of epic, and I say this as someone who also isn’t a fan of FFDP. As well, as mentioned, Travis Tritt is a well-known name in the country scene and he arguably sings the best parts in the song. The combination of the three similar voices that nevertheless have their own nuances and styles to offer makes for a hard-hitting single that makes you want to put your hands in the air and sing along, or blast on repeat in the car.