In a span of about three years in the mid-’90s, Chicago rockers Urge Overkill dropped a hotly-tipped major label debut, 1993’s Saturation; released a wildly popular cover of Neil Diamond’s “Girl You’ll Be a Woman Soon” on one of the decade’s most beloved movie soundtracks, Pulp Fiction; then, on the verge of breakout success, flamed out and broke up. Now, fifteen years after their last album, they’re back with a brand new album — get a taste by downloading “Effigy” below!
“This is gonna happen,” singer/guitarist Eddie “King” Roeser tells SPIN.com. “We are batting around concepts, but yes, there will be an Urge record coming out next year.”
LISTEN: Urge Overkill, “Effigy” (DOWNLOAD MP3)
According to Roeser, the band — featuring original co-frontman Nash Kato, drummer Brian “Bon” Quast (also of Polvo), and bassist Mike “Hadji” Hodgkiss — has whittled down five years of demos to a 12-song tracklist that they’ll finish recording during the remainder of 2010, and release in early Spring via Redeye.
“Effigy” features Roeser on vocals, and was recorded during a recent Chicago studio session. “We had never played this song together before, and I had despaired writing the lyrics for it, but we went and rehearsed it for a couple of days then banged it out like we used to, Touch and Go style,” he says, recalling the band’s early years on the Chicago indie label. “It’s not gonna sound too much like Saturation, by any means, and we felt like that was an appropriate way to come out swinging.”
And he’s right: “Effigy” feels raw and urgent, in the vein of Midwestern punks the Dead Boys, rather than feeding off the glossy, amped-up power pop of Saturation.
But while this first new track might be putting Urge Overkill’s sonic history in the rearview, an upcoming performance finds the band back in Pulp Fiction mode: They’ll play the Friars’ Club Roast of Quentin Tarantino in NYC this October, where, undoubtedly, they’ll do their famous Neil Diamond cover.
“That’s something that just happened as a fluke, something we sort of recorded as personal entertainment,” Roeser says of “Girl, You’ll Be a Woman Soon.” “The idea that it would be heard internationally was totally, you know…It wasn’t recorded for the movie or anything. They just sort of found it.”
But Roeser understands that doing things like the Roast are necessary if the goal is to resurrect his band from the ’90s scrapheap. “To really make anything happen now you’ve gotta take a few chances,” he admits. “It’s good for us to be ready to be exposed in that way.”
While in town for the Roast, the band will show off the tunes live October 4 at New York City’s Mercury Lounge — tickets are onsale now.
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