Sound of Urchin should be playing this weekend's Emissions From the Monolith VII, Youngstown's annual congregation of
jammin' bands that are heavy and heavy bands that jam. Instead, it's playing Pirate's Cove, opening for local punk group Who Killed Marilyn. It's par for the course: Urchin's one of the best bands you've never heard, but it can't catch a break. Maybe it's because it runs with funny guys and hippies.
Urchin is Jack Black's favorite band -- he handpicked it to support Tenacious D. More recently, it opened for Ween side project Instant Death. Flaming Lips producer Keith Cleversly produced the band's long-shelved, newly released The Diamond, which was recorded for RCA shortly before the label and Urchin parted ways in 2001. The disc's title cut simulates Rush on an amphetamine-fueled descent into hardcore.
The rest bounces and thrashes from infectiously happy tracks like "Dracula Bite" to "The Jack-O-Lantern," an evocative four-four rocker that'll stick in your head for days. Played live, even near-ballads get fast and hard -- singer-drummer Tomato11 pounds up a froth and often rips his kit apart mid-set, sending entire pieces flying across the room without missing a beat or ending the song, screaming all the while.