The FREQUENCY-IRELAND Music Alternative

An independent voice on choice sounds from the alternative/underground music scene in Ireland.
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Saturday, October 27, 2007

The Urges - Psych Ward

With a debut album launch last night at The Sugar Club in Dublin, The Urges are clanking, spiraling, twanging and hollering into the spotlight from the garage drenched gutter. The sounds of 13th Floor Elevators, The Mummies, The Electric Prunes, and at times some of the psycho-mania of The Things, all moderated by echoes of The Stones in the early days, The Urges unhinge an adrenalised avalanche of psychedelic retro garage punk to be reckoned with.

One of the first bands ever featured here on Frequency-Ireland, The Urges have been around a number of years, rising through the recesses of Dublin since 2004, onto more global exposure through appearances at several major garage festivals across Europe more recently. Backed by the success of their debut single Around Again in 2005, and inclusion on a number of compilations since, Psych Ward finally pulls their sound together into a full length garage album bursting with energy which had been threatening for quite some time.

Read The Signs leads off the album with an infectious clanking rhythm and primal beats that fuse together the best of 60s garage punk with some of the psychedelic underbelly of budget rock in the 80s, though soon It Aint Right takes the noise level down a peg to sleaze out over swirling Farfisa organ. Overall the album brimming equally with menace and paranoia, though an album full of redirections and slants on the classic garage rock sound. The Urges Theme, one of their older songs appearing on the album, takes surf guitar on a journey to ride through the sonic escapade of a 60s wild west movie to gunsling out displaced psychedelic grooves. So Uptight clanks and hollers, but is offset with melodies of the paisley underground of the 80s. The penultimate track Curse It All is rampant with unrestrained propulsive adrenalin and another old favourite of the live sets, while the album closes out fittingly with where the album takes its name, Psych Ward.

Overall a must-have album for those who follow the retro-garage rock scene, and a worthy album besides for anyone who likes to indulge in the genre occasionally. The album is available in all good garages, gutters and high street stores. 8/10.

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