Aptly named after a Funkadelic song, Urge Overkill formed in 1986 amid Chicago's industrial-hardcore scene, but thankfully, they quickly eschewed the grating hardcore of their Steve Albini-produced debut EP and instead cultivated a high-concept image as lounge-dwelling, martini-swilling, leisure-suited hedonists (complete with omnipresent cocktails, monogrammed smoking jackets, and medallions nestled in exposed chest hair). UO were the ultimate antithesis of the Chicago scene, and of '90s in general, since that decade was mostly typified by self-effacing, stripped-down grungesters. But that's what made them so refreshing. And that's what makes their classic Rat-Pack-meets-Black Sabbath songs--particularly from their 1993 breakthrough Saturation, a super-hi-fi, reverent recreation of the colossal RAWK sound of AM radio's glory days, as outlandish and epic as anything KISS, Cheap Trick, or Alice Cooper ever laid to tape--still sound so awesome nearly 20 years later.
UO have laid low for a while--after 1995's poor-selling Exit The Dragon, they took a very long recording hiatus. But they recently returned with the boldly and campily titled Rock & Roll Submarine, an LP bristling with their trademark chugga-chugga guitar riffs, wink-and-nod lyrics, and arena-rock irony. After their premature exit 11 years ago, it's nice to have the guys from Guyville back.
Urge Overkill, led by founders Nash Kato and Eddie Roeser, recently came by Yahoo! Music to play three acoustic songs--the Saturation ballad "Back On Me," Exit The Dragon's underrated "Somebody Else's Body," and the title track of their comeback album--for the Y! staff. It was cause for real rock 'n' roll celebration, and we were all partying like it was 1993. Fill up your martini glass and enjoy the show below.