It's been said that Urge Overkill made some shitty records by the time they were done, which is probably true. It's been said that they were pretty big jerks at one point, and maybe that's true also. I don't know any of the details on all of this, I'm just a guy who bought some records once. The little I do know about Urge Overkill is that I really liked their first record ("Strange, I..." -- I had two copies, somehow) and their "Lineman" single (a smashing cover of Jimmy Webb's "Wichita Lineman"), which places us at around 1987 or so. All pretty basic stuff that didn't stray too far, soundwise, from the Big Black/Killdozer axis that was prevalent in indie rock at the time, but I dug it a lot. There was actually a bit of a gap between the "Lineman" single and the first Urge Overkill LP, and it was during that in-between time that I got a chance to see them at the Anthrax in '87. I don't think I was all that impressed (about all I remember is that they wore matching smoking jackets), and that made me sort of file Urge Overkill in the back of my head somewhat, like, okay those guys were sorta good, but I don't really know what's up with them, and what the fuck's with those jackets anyway? Let me put this new Naked Raygun record on instead. Whoops, that sucks. Man, this scene's going to hell right now, isn't it?
It was maybe a year or two later that "Jesus Urge Superstar" came out, which I reluctantly bought a used copy of (the kind with the corner cut off, like Fran Fried used to own it or something), not expecting all that much. I put the platter on, and all of a sudden it was like, KA-POW! Huge rock riffs all over the place, the kind that get played on the radio (when you're lucky), and not cheesy like one of those Decry or DYS records -- this shit still sounded like an indie rock record, and made all the right references too (is that a fake Byron Coley essay on the back cover? beats the fuck outta me). Okay, so maybe the mastering is a little spotty, but songs like "Polaroid Doll" and "Dump Dump Dump" sorta beg to be played way freaking loud, especially if you've got a good clean copy, which mine isn't by the way, it's a secondary copy that I fished out of another used bin somewhere (man, there's like a million copies of "Dickcheese" floating around, good thing Dave Burokas had a coke habit). I could mention where they copped "Foxy Lady" and Eddie Money's "Shakin'", too, if you want, though that's not gonna make anyone more interested in listening to this record. The "Now That's The Barclords" single that came after this was pretty good also, and then I stopped paying attention after that, although there were a couple of CT bands that ended up sounding a good deal like this record-- namely Atlas and (especially) Creature Did-- although it's probably not like they really meant it or anything.
Urge Overkill -
"The Polaroid Doll"
"Dump Dump Dump"
"Crown of Laffs"