Master of Styles (Immortal Records)
By: Alex Steininger
As with their major label debut, RECEIVING THE GIFT OF FLAVOR, The Urge blend hardcore, hip-hop, ska, and funk to come up with their own highly powerful sound. Loud, loud, and then during some points danceable, they keep the listener (as well as themselves) on their toes constantly.
Jumping from one style to another, often in the same song, it wouldn't be so bad if they didn't consistently touch bases with their hardcore sound. Using it as their main influence, they drown out their ska songs too fast. Unless you're talking about their first single, "Jump Right In," which shows the band in a very talented light. A pop-ska song that you can dance or sing-along with, there is no question why this song is their first single. Highly infectious, after hearing this song you'll want to hear more of the band. The song is a very deep number covering a very serious topic, safe sex. But after listening to this number a hardcore number pops on, and takes away any passion you may have had for the band. However, "Played Out" also shows the talent of this band. Loosely a ska-punk number, it once again demonstrates when they drop the hardcore and focus on ska beats they are quite good. As if any more evidence was needed, "My Apology" shows the band is good at hardcore, as long as they use it as a chorus amongst ska verses. Taking some more time to dedicate to their ska roots, "Divide and Conquer" gives the listener a song that could easily be the second successful single on this disc. Light and relaxing, it still leaves the listener enough room to dance with it. Sprinkling the hardcore in, it works, and helps give the words a harder impression behind them.
If they didn't use so much hardcore on this album, it would be quite enjoyable, but the way it is it just comes off as a generic hardcore album with a bit of ska sprinkled in to keep the listener. I'll give it a C+.
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