Outerwear The Outerwear Limits cassette

Except for two cuts on the New Hope comp, Cleveland’s OUTERWEAR has been woefully under-documented. Praise be to Scat for gifting us a belated deluge in the form of 24 tracks recorded back in 1983. OUTERWEAR was two-thirds SPIKE IN VAIN and one-third Beth Scarf. They made quite a racket. Led by Chris Marec, OUTERWEAR would be the perfect house band for a serial killer mixer. I can see some joker putting a human-skin lampshade on his head while “Piss II” plays, followed by the damp, leaky punk of “Herpes Condo.” Although OUTERWEAR is more explicitly hardcore, parallels can be drawn to other scene oddballs like SCRATCH ACID and MIGHTY SPHINCTER. This late-blooming album is a glorious pisstake. If only all side projects slayed this hard.

Outerwear Outerwear Limits cassette

OUTERWEAR mainly presents slower, metallish thrash with lyrics that strain to cover the irrelevant. It looks as if these stimulus-starved Ohioans did too much LSD. Over the course of 24 songs, they scream and slither their way into the sicker corners of your heart. Outta sight.