Time Will Pass (Mersol Music)
Has it really been nine years since the release of this Dublin quintet's debut? The calendar does not lie. Are we pleased they are back? You should be, based on this LP.
The band clearly don’t mess about in paying respect to their inspirations. The Urges sound is enthrall to the progressive 60s psych of the west coast (primarily The Doors and Love), the baroque orchestrations of prime Scott Walker and The Zombies, and the neo-scousedelia of The Teardrop Explodes and The Coral.
‘Passing Us By’, a single last year, was a softer return for them, and a clear indication of a move away from their immediate garage roots. It’s a mature sound and it suits them wonderfully, being full of swirling kaleidoscopic vignettes, huge harmonies on the chorus, and a barnstorming outro. The second single 'Echoes Softly’ by comparison is a stab of horn-led beat that almost knocks you off your feet. The horn riff is stolen from ‘Reward’ but you can forgive them that, as the song stands up on it’s own (with pace changes that really work well). A spaghetti-western drama condensed to three minutes.
The record displays a confident strut throughout, like on the soulful spasm of ‘I’ve Been Here Before’ (with its charming spoken word section towards the end). There’s a little bit of sag at this juncture when they resort to garage-psych cliches (see the standard 100mph bashings on ‘Face Made For Sorrow’, and the inevitable sitar that appears through the washed-out ‘In The End’). But luckily it’s short-lived. The combustible ‘We Will Find Another Way’ brings us back to their true spirit, the slightly menacing undertone to the vocals offset by a killer guitar riff and heavy lashings of Vox’n’drumz. The equally pounding ‘Now I See’ cleverly manipulates the melody line to produce a thrilling, if unsettling, feeling of lysergia.
‘Strangers’ collective lurching might give you seasickness if you’re not up for the party. No worries though, the chorus will give you focus. With the end in sight ‘Meanwhile’ is the sort of foot-tapping pop ditty the Hollies and Beatles made all their own for a brief period in 1967. In other words, marvellous. The Urges do a superb job here (the many organ parts bedded in, for example, reveal more delights on each listen).
The album finishes with the title track in a similar style to where we began the album, with softer shades, built on tremelo guitar and sheets of organ. It’s beautiful crystalline whole is almost Temples-esque, and should be the next single (nudge nudge).
Its great to have them back: firing on such righteous form, and exploring the different sounds that have so inspired them to create rich, bold songs.
Time Will Pass is released on October 28 and is available on LP, CD and digital download. The band debut the LP in Dublin at the Grand Social on October 29.
BY PHIL ISTINE
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