Release Date: May 9, 2011
Record label: UO Records
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock, Hard Rock, Rock & Roll
To say that Rock & Roll Submarine picks up where Exit the Dragon left off is not damning with faint praise. It is no small thing for Urge Overkill to reunite 16 years later -- minus Blackie Onassis, whose heroin addiction was instrumental to the band’s split -- and to not just stumble but to deliver a credible sequel to the sinewy, stripped-down Exit the Dragon, which itself played as a vague hangover to the oversized wannabe blockbuster Saturation. That same sense of foreboding underpins portions of Rock & Roll Submarine, but Nash Kato and Eddie “King” Roeser wear weariness well, particularly now that they’ve abandoned their ironic dreams of stardom and have settled into rock & roll survivors.
Few bands ever self-sabotaged as frequently or as willfully as Urge Overkill. Here’s a band that made unpopular decisions at every pivotal juncture of its career. By the time they dropped their major label debut, the near-flawless Saturation, in 1993, the band were already pariahs in their hometown of Chicago, having inked a deal with Geffen while still under contract with indie label Touch & Go.
For some, Urge Overkill earned their place in history as gadflies in Chicago's indie rock scene during the turn of the 1990s-- releasing LPs on Touch and Go, coining the term "Guyville," being on the receiving end of Steve Albini's most withering insults. But then, their masterful 1993 sellout bid Saturation proved that their true talents were wasted on indie rock's ideals. As the opening act on both the era-defining Vs.