If Exit the Dragon was one last, late-night round at the darkest club in town, Rock & Roll Submarine is a weary - yet ragged and ready - morning after. And what a new dawn it is. From the very first note, Rock & Roll Submarine is invigorating in its immediate presence as gimmick-free rock. Never too clever for its own good, as the Urge of old sometimes wandered, it's sly and wry without being sarcastic.
If Rock & Roll Submarine has an obvious fault (and God knows naysayers will be seeking one), it's the sequencing. This thing is heavily top-loaded. Openers "Mason/Dixon" and "Rock & Roll Submarine" deliver on the promise of the pre-released teaser and third track, "Effigy." Guitars crash and swagger throughout while Eddie "King" Roeser and Nash Kato deliver powerful vocals that, if anything, have improved over the years. Hooks, riffs and dynamics comparable in effectiveness to the Foo Fighters' recent trimuph abound. This thing is a winner, goddammit, but it shows off all its guns a little too early. "Poison Flower," an otherwise decent mid-tempo number, stalls the momentum built by the insurmountable opening quarter.
|from UrgeOverkill.com - photo by Jeffrey Millies|
I honestly don't know how long it was in the making but Rock & Roll Submarine is no over-tinkered Chinese Democracy. It's raw, it's rough around the edges and it's alive. What have Urge Overkill been doing all these years? Whatever it is, I hope that they keep it up and I pray to God it isn't 2027 before we hear from them again.
|Following @UrgeOverkill on Twitter led me to a copy with neat-o autographed artwork from Newbury Comics|