The Urges – “Psych Ward” (2007)

October 12, 2009 at 7:01 pm (Music, Reviews & Articles)

Every once in awhile I’ll get lucky on an album by an unknown group that I find in a record store (yes kids, records used to be sold in places called record stores – go figure), that I’ll buy on a whim, based on abstract reasons, such as a cool cover, interesting song titles or the visual style of the artist. One such album I got lucky on last year was Psych Ward by a group that I had never heard of called The Urges, who originate from Dublin, Ireland.

The album, which originally came out in 2007 on the Screaming Apple label, was released on CD (with a different running order and cover) last year on former Soprano and garage rock aficionado Little Steven’s Wicked Cool imprint. The album, a rocking and high-energy tribute to the whole Nuggets ethos, is unoriginal and does nothing that hasn’t been done a million times before, but does it as well as it’s ever been done. These guys have clearly done their homework and pass with honors.     

Songs like “I Gotta Wait,” “It Ain’t Right” and “The Urges Theme” are clearly all cut from the same reverb-drenched, Farfisa’d, paisley cloth, tricked out with vintage ’66 analog production techniques. “I Gotta Wait,” in fact, could have been a hit back in the day. It definitely holds its own with some of the classics of the genre.  

I’m not sure, being that this band is dwelling in musical styles that are now forty years out of date, if they were influenced by the originators of this style – The Chocolate Watchband, The Standells and The Count Five – or whether they grew up listening to the children of those artists – The Chesterfield Kings, The Cynics and The Lyres – who were part of the early-80s neo-garage rock revival. Either way, The Urges, Sky Saxon’s spiritual grandchildren, are carrying on the tradition, in grand rocking style. This might not be original, by any means, but you could certainly do worse if you put this platter on at your next house party.

Rock on, as they used to say.

Jay Mucci

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