Music Reviews

Urge Overkill have done it again, a '70s rock influenced set of songs, done with a tongue-in-cheek, slap-on-the-back, drink-a-cocktail ethic. YAWN.

These guys are a bunch of fun-loving gin swillers who just like to rock out to the tunes they grew up with. They probably have a favorite bar in Chicago that has a jukebox with the Stones' "Brown Sugar" and the Ventures' "Walk, Don't Run" on it. They really like to look good and have a high sense of fashion, but they tell people they only shop at thrift stores. And guess what? They were doing it before anybody else. Well, now that everyone else is doing it, SHUT UP ABOUT IT.

Let's dwell on the word "OVERKILL." On Exit the Dragon, The Urge, as I'm sure some fans somewhere call them, have served up what sound like the alternate tracks from their previous record, which were just remixes of the stuff left off the previous one. Wow, I wish I had a nickel for every time I was unable to distinguish one UO song from another.

Cut to the quick this sounds exactly like the last couple of Urge Overkill records. It isn't awful by any stretch of the imagination, but it is not refreshing or novel either; better than most, worse than some. In the early days, super-producer Steve Albini took these guys under his wing and helped them make some cool records, but he was publicly forsaken and they wandered the Earth searching for truth, tasting the waters of several different streams, finally turning to Pathetikos, the new Greek God of records, for guidance. I appeal to these three misguided sheep, FORSAKE YOUR NEW GOD FOR HE IS A FALSE IDOL!R.B.

From the mean streets of Washington D.C., comes Clutch, a band who has released their second full-length self-titled album, filled with hooks, rhythm and sound that will have your booty shaking for days.

After releasing their debut album, Transitional Speedway League: Anthems, Anecdotes, and Undeniable Truths, and touring across the U.S., Clutch has released an album that is truly magnificent. From the opening song "Big News" to the last song "Tim Sult vs. the Greys," every song is as rockin' as it is catchy.

Singer Neil Fallon has the voice of a madman as he goes from singing space-like vocals in the psychedelic "Spacegrass" to balls out roars in "Texas Book of the Dead." The man sings with a passion and it carries over to his band, who play Black Sabbathish riffs that compliment Fallon's exciting roars of anger. These guys are as tight as ever and must have fellow Washingtonites Fugazi shakin' in their boots. I think if Ian McKaye took one listen to this, he'd wake up and change his stupid anti-major label attitude and sign to a major. Well, anyway, back to Clutch.

Other highlights on this album are "Rock and Roll Outlaw" where Neal screams "EE AW, EE AW, EE AW I'M A ROCK AND ROLL OUTLAW!" and the vicious "Tight Like That." I recently saw these guys open up for Marilyn Manson, and believe me, they put on one sick show. Enven though there was hardly any slamming (I don't call four dumbasses running around in a circle slamming, hell, I'm from Boston where people actually know how to dance and do their own thing) Neal and the boys put on a groove adventure that will have you moving for days. And make sure to bring some beer for Neal, for he always downs a few while playing.

Overall, buy this album if you're into good music and definitely check these guys out live. It will be and experience that you could tell your grandchildren about and you can teach them your slamming ways. Then they can grow up and be a nice punk rocker, like yours truly, THE BEREN.A.B.

After five or six albums, Canada's Nomeansno settled into a comfortable rut every 1 1/2 years or so, put out a solid new album, using the same quirky and humorous jazz-punk mixture that made all of their stuff winners.

That said, The Worldhood of the World (as such) is a pleasant surprise, since Nomeansno does some new and exciting stuff. The songs are generally shorter and more driving, making for the catchiest Nomeansno album to date.

The trademark Nomeansno quirkiness is still there, but it fits in better rather than being a distraction. "He Learned How To Bleed" is one of the best NMN songs ever a charming blend of oddball vocals, speed and wall-punching aggression. Other tracks to look out for are the goofy "Humans," "My Politics" and "Tuck It Away."

The only problem here is the last two songs. If Worldhood cut off at 11 songs, everything would be just fine, but it closes off with two sorry additions to the Nomeansno canon "State of Grace," which wouldn't be out of place on a Queensryche album, and a horrendously vile pseudo-reggae number, "The Jungle."

Still, this is the first Nomeansno album to be catchy enough to earn a heavy rotation spot on my turntable, and it does that without sacrificing any of the band's integrity. G.D.

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