Saturday, May 02, 2009

Got a Bag of Red Man and a Bottle of Beaujolais

Being ahead of your time in 1989 could mean any number of things. It could have meant that you were making the kind of bad rap-rock garbage that became prevalent 10 years later in the 90s. It could have meant you were a testosterone-spewing proto-nu-metal meat head. But in the case of Urge Overkill, I think it meant something about understanding the fundamental silliness of all the established big-rock gestures while at the same time realizing the transformative power of the bombast. Instead of signing on for the punk-grunge Dogma-style refutation of stagecraft and riffage, UO came up with some noms de rock, put on medallions and jumpsuits and pretty much fused arena preening and hooks with the sonic sneer of Chicago noise rock. These guys were rocking ascots and cummerbunds, smoking cigars and hoisting snifters, long before anyone thought that was okay. I’m feeling nostalgic, I guess, and so I’ve got to share – these tunes are fist-pumpers and booze-swilling anthems. If Polvo warned their fans that they’d “just got a sitar, so be prepared” on Celebrate the Next Dark Age, Urge Overkill went practically as far, maybe further, by rocking the fake-sitar-sound guitar solo on “Positive Bleeding.” I still find myself thinking of the Darkness and the Hold Steady when listening to these. A weird midpoint.

“A Ticket to L.A.” –Urge Overkill

“Out on the Airstrip”- Urge Overkill

“(Now that’s) the Barclords” – Urge Overkill

“Positive Bleeding”- Urge Overkill


johnny said...

love your work, driftwood boys, so much good stuff: thin lizzy, the persuasions, nick lowe, bobbie gentry and now the hugely under-rated UO.

Lefty said...

Who sexed up our link color from dull green to bright blue?? Nice. Nice tunes, too.