steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

The Suburban Urchins

"No" CD


Genres: indie rock, noise-rock

Feb 2 - 8 2004

No is indie rock how it should be.  Though it's only an unknown debut album from obscure Knoxville trio The Suburban Urchins, this disc sees a band at its best and most polished.  For fans of noisy, infectious indie rock - think early 90s Archers of Loaf and Sebadoh - No could be one of the best albums to come around in awhile.  More than a few of these songs make for serious mixtape material.

"My Friend the Television" is the album's first song, and it's a jerkily energetic, carelessly melodic rocker that has the unusual distinction of staying perfectly listenable throughout its entire five minute duration.  That's quite a feat in these impatient times.  "Prefab," meanwhile, makes great use of the xylophone, and "The Only Way to Spell Awesome" introduces a slight country tinge.  "Orient Express" is another wonderful slice of melodic guitar pop, and "Oh Jesus ---------" offers a bit of dark, drastic rock.

That isn't to say all of these songs are great.  "Infiniteen" is a bit bland and unoriginal, though it's thankfully quite short, whereas "The Plague" is a bit long, given its limited pool of melodies.

The Suburban Urchins' No is beginning to restore my faith in obscure local indie rock bands.  Though there's a lot of crap out there, every once in awhile you'll find something worth holding onto.  My advice to the band?  Keep on playing.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 9 tracks, distributed by the band, released 2003]