Sunday, November 16, 2008
The Urges - Psych Ward - 2008
The Urges hail from Dublin, Ireland, but you wouldn't guess it to listen to their debut album, Psych Ward. To judge from these 12 tracks, the Urges live in some enchanted land where paisley and Nehru have never gone out of style, the sneer is the favored means of human expression, and fuzzboxes and Farfisa organs are naturally occurring phenomena. The Urges don't miss a trick on Psych Ward, capturing the mid-'60s garage rock sound with uncanny accuracy, from the inspired three-chord stomp of the tunes and the tough, fuzzy crunch of the music to the swagger of Jim Walters' lead vocals and Circo Perrotti's proudly analog production. There are moments where Psych Ward sounds just like some lost session from the Standells or the Chocolate Watchband until you read the credits and realize the Urges wrote and performed these songs themselves, in the 21st century. The Urges are so good at recreating the sound of rock & roll's past that it's hard to say what (if anything) they bring to the table that's new and different; this band may be good enough to pass for one of the acts that influenced them in dim light, but that also means a lot of this sounds like something you've already heard, even though this was recorded in 2008, and that proves to be a double-edged sword. Garage rock mavens will doubtless enjoy Psych Ward (which has been given the seal of approval by Little Steven Van Zandt, who has given it a United States release on his Wicked Cool label), but the Urges' lack of an original vision means they'll be preaching to the converted and very few others. -AMG
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Posted by Curty Ray