Pennslyvania’s The Inner Urge released this album ironically almost a year ago, on March 25th of 2018. If I actually knew these guys a while ago, I’d have added this to my 2018 best of list. They’re not your typical instrumental band, which is something I think our followers will love. They blend a plethora of sounds that work extremely well. That laundry list include: jazz, ambience, psychedelic rock, fusion, prog rock, brass instruments, keyboard, violin, saxophone, vibraphone and random percussive instruments. There’s a lot more instrumental bands out there (especially in the jazz/fusion world, outside of instrumental metal and it’s many subgeneres) I think these guys stand out so much especially with a debut album.
They are super talented, nobody actually stands out and sure as heck don’t mean that in an insulting manner. This is what I respect about certain bands. Some are guitar heavy and written for guitar riffs, vocally focused, rhythmically focused or an instrumental band/guitarist (Vai/Satriani style) shred band. The Inner Urge has put out an album that is COHESIVE, nobody hogs the spotlight and their impressive sound layering again is key to it all. It’s super melodic whether its the saxophone taking a melodic lead, or guitar, or a cool xylophone the guys don’t overdo it with such a densely satisfying sound. Of course a killer rhythm is section is what you need, and that is what their big backbone is. If they didn’t click so well, I guarantee it’d be a mess of a sound. Again fellow guitarists, APPRECIATE A GREAT RHYTHM SECTION. I just admitted that, and I think you all can too.
Alex Price – Guitar/Violin
Andrew Koss – Bass/Saxophone
Jesse Griffith – Drums
Michael Garbett – Vibraphone/Percussion
Additional Live Musicians:
Nashwan Abdullah – Violin
Will King – Percussion
Josh Wertz – Tenor Saxophone
Matt Klumpp – Keyboard
The band has so many unique and unusual rhythms it’ll keep you grooving for years. Jesse and Andrew are such a good choice on rhythm they feed off each other so well. Drew’s fills on bass are so tasteful it’s like a perfectly cooked medium rare steak. Not hiding so far in the sound, but plays some great fills in the right spots that spice up their expansive sound. The drums aren’t reserved by any means, and perfectly fits The Inner Urge’s sound.
Mike’s percussion and vibraphone adds more layer to their sound, which helps their songs out a whole lot. It’s actually quite key (HAR, HAR) at some points in their songs and helps maintain the moods they aim for. And well, what can I say about Alex? He also represents PRS as proven by that picture…..high five my friend! The young guy has a great future as a player no questions asked. Playing on a clean channel (with some random added reverb, echo, delay and other slight additions) for a good part of the album is impressive. He doesn’t play outside of his means, and clearly annunciates his melodies on guitar even the more subtle ones. I think it also helps the 4 main members went to music schools. Hell two of the members play on cruise ships and their vibraphone player drums on the Pittsburgh Steelers drum line! These young whipper snappers are music, they live and breathe it.
Listen to the self titled album below, and then buy it because pimpin ain’t easy. If you live in the Northeast, check out their shows when they play. I’m sure it’s a hoot. I’ve heard this album about 8 times in the past week and have no shame in admitting that. Great job, especially for a debut it’s awfully eye opening. So excited for new music whenever their busy lives call for it. Absolutely FLAWLESS job gentlemen. Cheers!