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Music

The Sound of Urchin: self-titled

Eden Miller

The Sound of Urchin

The Sound of Urchin

Label: RCA
US Release Date: 2000-09-12
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It's impossible to take The Sound of Urchin seriously, but you're probably not supposed to. Lacking in any sort of solemnity, The Sound of Urchin's self-titled EP combines lighthearted punk/metal with a garage-band vibe. Without the rapid-fire word play that served Soul Coughing or the silly sincerity that has done well for Blink 182, The Sound of Urchin is only interested in being dumb. But that's okay.

With lines like "Horse winny, cows moo, dogs bark, fuck you" from "Quiz Show Spy" it's hard to tell if The Sound of Urchin wants you to laugh with them or at them, but they probably wouldn't be offended by either. The only thing that saves The Sound of Urchin from being stupid is that they know they are. Lyricist and lead singer Tomato (Chris Harfenist) giddily shouts/speaks/sings his way through his songs.

Conjuring up images as diverse as pastoral fields to Steven Tyler of Aerosmith working at an office, the five songs on this EP are playfully funny, if slightly annoying. Beginning with crunchy "Mr. Hanalei," a cautionary tale about a haunted area in Hawaii, The Sound of Urchin continues with "Cherry Mountain (Herdin The Sheep) which features some surprisingly beautiful moments hidden in the noise. "Quiz Show Spy" is mostly obnoxious, whereas the straightforward "Fearless Vampire Killers" seems destined to be a hit. Closing the set is the messy "Space Station On The 4, 5 & 6" where Tomato mindlessly free-associates on various topics without always being interesting. The Sound of Urchin is obviously having fun in with their music, and this translates to the listener for the most part, but their music is too unfocused to stay enjoyable for long. While it's likely they could sustain a whole album, at only over 20 minutes, their EP is too short and hyperactive, and gets tiring to listen to over and over again. Their attempts at cleverness wear thin after awhile. Most of what they have to say is only funny once, and the humor quickly fades with repeat listens.

The Sound of Urchin's self-titled EP has enough going for it to recommend it, but not fully. It's fun, if a bit insipid, music. The Sound of Urchin is the sort of band you don't mind when your friend plays it, but you'd never voluntarily listen to it yourself.

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