Urge Overkill - Rock & Roll Submarine
Urge Overkill is a prime example of a great band that was ruined by a hit song. No matter how good their work was after "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon" struck it big in Pulp Fiction, in the eyes of tastemakers it would always be jaded by that song.
Now 15 years after their last album, the band have reunited to release Rock & Roll Submarine. Well, two thirds of the band anyway, as Nash Kato and Eddie Roeser have returned with an incarnation that sees them performing as a quartet.
The band gives fans a nod to the past with the opener "Mason/Dixon". The intro to the song sounds like they took the "Sister Havana" riff, flipped it on its head, and took a belt sander to it. "End Of Story" is classic Urge Overkill, featuring an arrangement that ducks and counter-thrusts.
You get the requisite head-bopping moments with "She's My Ride" and the title track. "Thought Balloon" gives you an infectious hook. It's "Effigy", though, that's the standout moment. A blistering riff, big hook, and high octane delivery illustrate just how good Urge Overkill can be.
The album does have its fair share of filler though. Tracks like "Little Vice", "The Valiant", and "Niteliner" are rather pedestrian mid-tempo numbers. The album also suffers from a mix that has rendered the bass parts far too thin. A beefier bassline would add a welcome kick to many of these tracks.
There's no denying that Rock & Roll Submarine pales in comparison to Urge Overkill's most seminal works. The hooks aren't quite as sharp. The energy level isn't nearly as high nor is it as consistent. However, it is good to hear the band return. After all, Urge Overkill at half power is better than most indie power pop out there today.
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on 2011-05-25 dscanland Said:
I had heard rumblings about this album but didn't know that it was out. Thanks for bringing my attention this way. I used to love Urge Overkill. Their Saturation album still gets me rocking. Sister Havana etc...