Here is what a pros had to say about the Urge:
Definite mosh music for the masses!
-RAOUL HERNANDEN- Austin Chronicle
With their first trombone blast, they won over the 311 crowd last november at the Fox Theater. One word of warning, if your going to the pit, make sure that your physically fit-these guys are non-stop!
-JIM SHEELER-Boulder Daily Camera
Chaotic,liberating, and a security guard's worst nightmare, and Urge show is like a prison riot-1996 Post Dispatch
The following is an artical that appeared in the St.Louis Post-Dispatch on April 23,1998 The writer is Diane Toroian!
The Urge keeps its hard edge, while edging up the national record charts.Could "Master of Styles" be the record that turns this into a superstar band?
On it's new song. "Straight to Hell", local rock act The Urge slams those "perpetrators" and "imitators" who rock hard in the recordingstudio, but whimp out on stage."You'll hear a band on record and then go see them, and it's like 'What happend?' It turns out they can't play it live," says Urge frontman Steve Ewing.
For a decade, The Urge has faced the opposite problem.Critics agreed that the band could play; some just didn't like what the Urge was playing.
On "Master of Styles," said Ewing. "I love singing. It's a lot better than screaming and yelling."
Take, "Jump Right In," a mid-tempo ska groove with a jazzy dancehall feel. Nick Hexum, lead singer of fellow funk act 311, appears on the track. He predicted that the song would be a hit "if there's any justice in the world."
Turns out life is fair: the song is climbing Billboard's modern rock charts and is booming from some 90 radio stations nationwide-not just local booster FM 105.7 (The Point), but hitmakers such as KROQ in Los Angeles and WFNX in Boston.
The Urge, for years on the lower rung of national touring acts, may be climbing toward the top.
Ewing agrees that the song shows a new side, or at least a side fans have missed since the band's early days, when it favored bouncy ska and reggae rythms over driving metal.
"We wanted to get away from the normal formula for our songs with the chorus being really hard," said Ewing. "On the other records, we were writing the music for live shows. They were just jams. This time,we put melodies on top of jams. The music is moving in a lot of different directions. Our influences, like the Police, do that alot."
Fear not, hard-core fans.The Urge has not gone soft.Ewing is still angry, Jerry Jost and Karl Grable still ahmmer away at thier guitars, John Pessoni keeps pace on drums and the three-man horn section of saxophonist Bill Rieter Jr., and trombonists Todd Painter and Matt Kwiatkowski still blare. And onstage, the band still spits and rages like boiling oil.
"The new material works great live. It's got a nice roller-coster effect," said Ewing. "We'll have somthing a little bit more mellow and then go into somthing really hard."
There's no word yet on when The Urge, wich is performing tommorrow tonight at the Blue Note in Columbia,MO., will paly again in St.Louis. The band did a surprise show last month at Mississippi Nights. Minuets after The Point announced the gig, the surrounding streets in Laclede's Landng swelled with hyper fans. Eventually, police demanded that Mississippi Nights open it's doors early so that the area could be cleared.
"It's like no other experience. The energy is so intense," said Pat Hagin, who has been booking The Urge at Mississippi Nights since the bands beginnings. The Urge sould out thre staight shows here last December, an unprecented event for the night club. I don't know of any other act out there that comes close to consistently playing at that level," Hagin said.
The band, originally a quartet of buddies from Webster Groves High School, started playing VFW halls and school gyms before booking all-ages shows at Kennedy's and other local music venues. The Urge's members have grown older (the average age is 25), but not thier fans. You need the limber bones and clear lungs of youth to keep up with this band.
"They're (the fans) going crazy, and I'm going crazy. I put out that first burst of energy, but then it's all them," said Ewing."I never thought we needed to get a song on the radio. I was only concerned that we could keep toring. Playing live is all I ever wanted to do."