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The Sound of Urchin
The Sound of Urchin
RCA


I could go into everything that's wrong with music today, but we don't have room for that here, and I'm sure you don't have the patience to read that kind of a rant. So, let's just review this eponymous 5 track CD and I have the feeling my point will be made.

Despite some catchy solos, this disc is lacking in substance. I would imagine that every big label has been actively seeking "the next Rage Against the Machine" for a few years. These are generally the only labels who send us these cookie cutter albums. Take 2 parts dramatic power chords, add a cup of beefed up bass for flavor, toss in 1 part competent drummer and let simmer, let stand for 30 minutes to an hour with a rapping (assumably) white guy who likes sing song choruses. So, here

we are with more of the same--and these sad, sad bands will find themselves relegated to back pocketed hell when the smoke clears.

One thing Rage Against the Machine (who are on the Sony label, by the way, as long as we're talking about Machines) has that most of these copycat bands lack is thoughtful lyrics. Love them or hate them, Rage doesn't throw out stupid jokes and foul one liners at every chorus. That's more of a Limp Bizkit trait and in that we find the next element of The Sound of Urchin. Take the second track, "Cherry Mountain (Herdin' The Sheep)", a pointless story telling that has a high point of a chorus that repeats the line "Herdin' The Sheep/Herdin' The Sheep/Herdin' The Sheep". The shitty soulless rap that surrounds the chorus is trite and somehow reminds me of New Kids on the Block. It all seems that contrived.

The unfortunately titled, "Fearless Vampire Killers", starts out somewhat promising, but sounds like Cheap Trick covering Meatloaf. The cheesy added sound effects are week and I can only guess that the producer thought that having a climax featuring a piano would add depth to the shallowness of this album.

"Space Station on the 4,5 & 6" is the perfect ending to this album. A pointless song that shows it's obvious influences (rip-offs?) with every line. It even goes into some rant about how Aerosmith works in an office during the day and the punchline? "They ain't on a Permanent Vacation". I think the lyricist of The Sound of Urchin would be better off writing greeting cards than music. The rest of the band should find someone with depth so that they may be able to have a future in music. Just a thought.

-Tyler Jacobson

Track Listing:

  1. Mr Hanalei
  2. Cherry Mountain (Herdin' the Sheep)
  3. Quiz Show Spy
  4. Fearless Vampire Killers
  5. Space Station on the 4, 5 & 6


Mike Doughty



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