This is going to be a little embarrassing, so please just bare with me.
Every so often in our lives an album rolls on by you that just hits you perfectly. From the vocals, the riffs, the drums, the bass lines, the backing vocals, everything just feels right, and everything just sounds right. No matter how sloppy the guitar playing is at times, how out of key the vocalist falls at times, or when that snare hit doesn't quite come through, all of those imperfections equal up to making a perfect testament to the world of rock and roll.
When the debut album from The Urgencies (Austin, Texas) came into my possession, I was on a high from listening to The Plimsouls album 'Everywhere at Once'. I tore into work, ranting and raving to my buddy about those special albums that after 20 years you still listen to like the first time. The Plimsouls are one of those for me. 20+ years after hearing it, it still takes hold of me like few albums ever will. So when I read the press release of The Urgencies, something triggered in my mind. In their list of influences (which in and of itself reads like me listing my favorite bands), there were The Plimsouls listed. Odd, I thought, nobody talks about them in the glam/trash world.
I threw the disc on with a shrug of the shoulders. What followed for the next 45+ minutes was damn near perfection to my ears. It played out like a love letter to the bands that they mentioned in their list of influences, but never becoming any of those bands. It was a love letter to the bands I love while becoming an album that I will be gladly placing besides the best of those bands.
It kicks off with "Strange Girl's Weird Boys", a fine mid-tempo tune with a lead vocal that cracks as Mike Monroe did once upon a time on 'Bangkok Shocks', and with backing vocals owing a debt to The Clash.
Second tune "Eulogy" shows the most where many of their influences lie, as the bass track walks a line that harkens back to the wonderful underground almost New Wave bands of the 80's. Dave Tregunna would be proud of this one, and would have a field day playing it. Hell, The Lords would have written something this good while they were still in peak form.
From there on out the whole album is that style of rock and roll, glam/trash. They even do a cover of the aforementioned Plimsouls classic "Million Miles Away", which takes guts to try and do a respectable cover of, but these guys actually nail it, right down to even hitting a decent Rickenbaker guitar tone, though a little trashier than the sound originally recorded, as it is only fitting.
The final four songs go for the jugular and really show what this band is capable of, if they can only hold together. I only say that because it seems rare that we get a long duration from a band this good.
So on a day that started with me ranting about The Plimsouls and albums that stand the test of time, and ones that always sound new to you, I am pretty sure I have another one to add to that small list. I've been listening to it everyday now for almost a week, numerous times a day, and it keeps hitting me as Hanoi Rocks, The Lords Of The New Church, The Replacements, Dogs D'Amour and yes, The Plimsouls did when I first heard them. Someday, with any justice, kids everywhere will be listing The Urgencies in their list of influences alongside those bands that The Urgencies are listing.
********** out of ********** (yeah, that's 10 out of 10 kids)
damn thing is still growing on me!!!
by Carl Isonhart
Visit the Urgencies Website