Despite many cutting edge elements, TFN’s sound clearly indicates a devotion to the period in heavy rock history where everything went a bit peculiar and bands like Primus and Mr Bungle stalked the Earth with mischievous intent. The Australians caused a huge stir with their Silent Machine debut in 2012, and while Outlier is essentially a continuation of that multi-genre splurge, the band’s songwriting blade has been sharpened and put to more focused use this time round.
Fans of traditional prog may flinch from the bouncy nu-metal grooves of songs like Sick and Invincible, but this band share far more DNA with Zappa, Mike Patton and later acolytes like Dog Fashion Disco than they do with any woeful jock rock atrocities.
The riffs offer an irresistible mixture of post-djent perversity and Funkadelic flow, while vocalist Kin Etik’s sustained but idiosyncratic Mike Patton impression belies versatility and admirable melodic intelligence. Ultimately, this is not going to set the average Genesis fan’s world on fire, but TFN’s collective exuberance is infectious and their disregard for current trends in either metal or prog mark them out as an awkward squad worth persevering with.