|By Charlie Goodrich||Wednesday, 31 Dec 2008|
Saturation pleasantly surprised me. I purchased the album after listening to the opening song “Sister Havana”. Before listening to this song, I never heard of Urge Overkill but I am happy I bought this album and discovered this band. I really dug the energy and sound on “Sister Havana” and I am glad that the rest of Saturation turned out as well as it did. I usually don’t care for music made past 1992, (with certain exceptions of course) so for this to grab
my attention speaks volumes. Like I said, Saturation opens with “Sister Havana”. The guitar riff grabs you immediately. It has a garage band quality about it that is very raw. The drumming on this song is also standout. It reminds me of Keith Moon in that the drummer plays with his ears and not his hands. He listens to the song and fills in as necessary. Both the guitar and drums combine to make this a great driving song. “Tequila Sundae” follows “Sister Havana”. We have another raw sounding guitar riff that could have been part of an Alice in Chains album if it were a little heavier. The vocals are reminiscent of Kurt Cobain. The singer comes off as more melancholy and presents a deeper tone for “Tequila Sundae”. Not as strong as “Sister Havana (and not nearly as catchy) but still a solid track. The next two songs, “”Positive Bleeding” and “Back On Me” sound more polished and refined. Both songs can easily get stuck in one’s head thanks to the catchy choruses. “Positive Bleeding” features some nice guitar work switching from a soft to hard throughout the song.
The closest thing I can compare it to is “Creep” by Radiohead. The drums on “Positive Bleeding” also return to a more original style similar to “Sister Havana”. So far it is obvious this is an alternative rock band, however, “Woman 2 Woman” has hints of a punk influence. A chugging guitar riff, constant drumming, deep bass line, and fast vocals characterize “Woman 2 Woman”. This is a fun rocker that seems to be out of place. Who cares though? The spirit of the Ramones is evident and it creates a wonderful sound for the middle of Saturation. So far Saturation is pretty awesome. Catchy guitar work, distinct drumming, and diverse vocals keep album from being boring. Each song keeps the listener’s ears open and hits you with something new. Unfortunately, The latter part of the album runs into some snags. The final six songs range from boring to just making noise. “Crackbabies” starts off with a keyboard that you would hear at a wedding and turns into an overly repetitive mess. “The Stalker” uses way too much distortion and there is an annoying high pitch screech sound at times, and “Heaven 90210” sounds like a bastardized Eric Clapton song. The rest, “Nite and Grey”, “Erica Kane”, “Dropout”, and “Bottle of Fur” lack any standout quality. These four songs blend together and are clearly filler. The first half of Saturation is beyond good. Urge Overkill break from the mold of alternative bands with the first five songs and give the listener something unique. After “Woman 2 Woman” there is a drop off. The last half of the album looks like a seismograph with various peaks and valleys. It is too inconsistent for an album that started off so strong. I still recommend Saturation for two reasons. First, the songs that are good are extremely good, and second, I am not a big fan of alternative music. Therefore, many more people will be turned on to the last part of this album than I was.