Thursday, July 18, 2013

THE URINALS REISSUES

THE URINALS - S/T 7" (Superior Viaduct)
The Urinals formed in 1978 originally as a five-piece, but short time later they had to continue as a trio. Their early recordings sound like none of the three could play their instruments, but of course this isn't a disadvantage for a punk group. Some of their first songs were based on two chords only, but they are totally reduced to the basics and this one of the main secrets of The Urinals distinctive, unconventional and original style of art punk. They took the vibe of primal 50s and 60s rock'n'roll and merged it with the simplicity and hardness of punk. "Dead Flowers" is a great example. It's both a one minute punk blast and a 60s inspired tune packed with catchy-as-hell vocal harmonies. "Hologrom" is made with one moody riff and a simple beat. For all it's simplicity it's a impressing to the point tune. "Last Days Of Man On Earth" is an anger filled short and straight punk cut. The flipside features "Surfin' With The Sha" an instrumental, that captivates through it's monotonic and hypnotizing interplay of guitar and bass. All four songs on this 7" originally released in 1978 are true classics. And this whole 7" should be considered as a true must have. (Listen to it here)

THE URINALS - ANOTHER 7" (Superior Viaduct)
After several bootlegs here's finally a repress of The Urinals second 7" from 1979. All of their releases are totally outstanding, but this four track single is probably their best and most classic one. It was recorded on three-tracks only, but it yielded a more focused sound. "Black Hole" is probably the best track ever written by The Urinals. It combines everything that's so awesome about this band in 1:20 minutes playtime: an impressing two-fold lead melody, primitive but great beats, crashing guitars and a kind of catchiness, that will stay in your ear after the first listen. "I'm White And I'm Middle Class" is a wild blasting proto-hardcore tune, that illustrates why Black Flag were fans of The Urinals. "I'm A Bug" is characterized by a more common classic punk vibe. It soundslike it could have been taken from a Killed By Death compilation. "Ack Ack Ack" is the ultimate height of primitivity. A brilliant song based on two chord noise and a fast elementary beat. This is one of the best punk singles ever! (Listen to it here)
 
THE URINALS - SEX 7" (Superior Viaduct)
Here we go with third and last The Urinals 7" orginally released in 1980. It was recorded in a basement weight-room and it represents The Urinal's roughest recordings with a focus on heavy distortions. The titletrack is somehow comparable with the sound of 60s inspired power-punks The Last, who's keyboard player also recorded their first single. It's characterized by tons of catchy vocal harmonies and fantastic melodic undertones. The song finds a perfect balance between a lo-fi energetic production and sugar-sweet pop. "Go Away Girl" is a pissed off proto-hardcore explosion with flipped out screaming vocals in the forefront. This is by far the most angry song ever recorded by The Urinals. The b-side offers several different drones of electronic sounds and it's a nice disturbing joke. (Listen to it here)

100 FLOWERS - S/T LP  (Superior Viaduct)
100 Flowers are The Urinals under a new name. The band felt that The Urinals moniker represented the ugliness of their earliest days, but it didn't fit to their now more varied songwriting. 100 Flowers was taken from the Maoist cultural revolution quotation, "Let 100 flowers bloom and 100 schools of thought contend." This selftitled album stands out because of it's sophisticated songwriting that merges several different influences ranging from UK postpunk in the vein of Swell Maps, early hardcore, 60s garage and pop. It shows that the trio definitely learned how to play their instruments. They moved away from their one minute no frills blast to a more complex and deeper sound. With 100 Flowers they broke with genre boundaries and created a even more orgin, refreshing and open-minded style. Some of the sixteen songs are funky, some are straight blasting and some are true pop perls. Delia Frankels vocals vary between manic screams and stunning melodies. Also the lo-fi production of their early works was replaced by a cleaner and professional studio recording. One might think that all these aspects were no progress, but even if their new sound was different, it's not a bit worse. (Listen to it here)