WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Second record from Chicago alternative trio improves the sound a bit, the songs a bit, but still kind of blurs together.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: After a drummer change, Urge Overkill recorded their second album with Butch Vig in controls, and he and the band cleaned up their sound and corralled their influences a bit, which was sorely needed.
The one-two punch of “Ticket to LA” and “Blow Chopper” gives one hope, and those songs definitely are keepers for the band, but then the next six tracks don’t build or diversify, or are kind of half-assed (like “Empire Builder”). It’s also short, too, with eight songs that aren’t that long. King Roeser sings most of the cuts, so that also may be a change for later fans.
They’re on their way to where they’d land, but this isn’t where to start with them.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: Jack Watt was known as “Jaguar”
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No
GRADE: C+: There’s enough good stuff here to make you wish there was more, and more diversity.
ARTIST: Urge Overkill TITLE: Jesus Urge Superstar YEAR RELEASED: 1989 CHART ACTION: None SINGLES: None OTHER SONGS YOU MAY KNOW: I really doubt it; it’s kind of been lost in the UO catalog LINEUP: Nash Kato, King Roeser, Kriss Bataille WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT: Urge Overkill’s debut has bits and pieces of parts of what made them a fun band, but man the sound is, well, gunk.
SOME WORDS, PHRASES AND CLAUSES ABOUT THIS RECORD: You can hear the snippets and the potential. A neat retro guitar lick. An interesting reference. A melody that’s both of the time and a throwback. An attitude.
But only for glimpses, and most of that is due to the sound of the record. It’s covered in mud and leaves and Lord only knows what, so it seems. It was produced by the usually dependable Steve Albini. It is a bit noisier and punkier than other UO records – that I was expecting. I wasn’t ready for the muted sound taking the oomph out of the songs.
The songs have moments – most of them may have been redeemable had they focused a bit on them and on a better sound. It’s kind of hard to listen to at times.
NOTES & MINUTIAE: They had an earlier EP and single released before this first full length.
IS THERE A DELUXE VERSION: No.
GRADE: C-: They needed better sound and more focus on the songs. It would happen.