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Jesse Malin – Outsiders

Stellar slab of Americana from this cool alt-rock survivor.

New Yorker Jesse Malin was frontman of glam rock never- quite-weres D Generation. Nearly two decades solo, he’s blurred the boundaries with a hip strain of Americana that skirts around the heartland and sullies its nails in the greasier clubs of the coasts.

There are hints of Beck in his vocals, some of his buddy Ryan Adams’ defiance in his swagger, and his latest long player has some gritty blues edges: the syncopated Bo Diddley rhythm of the title track, punk-pop rockabilly romp Here’s The Situation (Dinosaur Jr’s J Mascis on guitar) and the cool, tousled, midnight-hour angst of San Francisco. Electric piano/horns combo Society Sally slinks along nicely, and Whitestone City Limits’ trad rock’n’roll conveys hometown alienation all too well. He gives good story, does Malin, and how can you not want to hear a song christened You Know It’s Dark When Atheists Start To Pray?