EXPANDED / REMASTERED edition with “Homework” and “Runaway” included.
“Homework” was an earth-shaker the first time I heard it. Blasting off the sketchy CD-R on the Hyped2Death volume of Homework Volume 1: American DIY R-T, it defined frantic punked-out power pop from the Midwest. In such great company on those comps, sometimes the tracks seemed to seep into each other, yet Screaming Urge seemed to consistently dig itself deeper, standing out and don’t forget, they named their entire SERIES after that invigorating cut! Columbus, Ohio, in the late 1970s had an incredible cast of characters running around Mr. Brown’s, Crazy Mama’s and such. Tommy Jay, Mike Rep, Ron House, Jim Shepherd, Nudge, it must have just been a brown leather fever dream! “Released” on Mike Rep’s New Age label in 1980, the “Homework” single is pure American DIY punk gold that really checks all the boxes. Overbearing parents, teenage frustration, beer, everything you’d want in a punchy underground would-be hit. Later the same year they released their powerhouse debut LP BUY, (aka The Blue Album) on Garner Records, which has sadly been out-of-print for 43 years, until now. Packaged together with the “Homework” 7” tracks and freshly remastered, this Ohio Punk milestone is finally available again. – VictimofTime.com
Screaming Urge. Archetypal American Punk Rock. Emerge now as the best underground music you never heard created in their own NOWHERE, their own nu-topic derangement fantasized and realized in the midwestern police city-state of Columbus, Ohio. Screaming Urge came into being in 1978 with the self-creation of Michael Ravage. Myke Rock came into being in 1979. Dave Manic came into being in 1980. They began touring the United States extensively in a black Chevy van spray painted in white on the sides the same graffiti found around the police city state: Screaming Urge. They played and in playing helped create the underground venues that sustained the new life of the new forms of consciousness -a punk national/international cultural matrix of resistance. In 1978, no club in the city police state permitted musicians to play original music, to write and say original words. One was required to play the intellectually propertized, corporatized, has nothing-to-do-with-anything-in-your-life bloated music of the 70s: to perpetuate the authoritarian think-not-for-yourself consciousness required for the smooth operation of capitalism. It is hard to imagine now just how shocking it was to want to play your own music live. It is harder to imagine now just how reviled and despised punk was by mainstream culture, especially in a midwestern city. . . .
Guerilla concerts. Set up quick in the middle of the police city-state’s main drag. Plugged into (via the at least one radical working) a pizza shop not too far away. Hey, mind if we plug in here to play outside? Sure! Crowds would gather (good for pizza business) and stop traffic. Then, as soon as the police would come, Screaming Urge, out of deference to authority, would launch into the crowd-pleaser, “Killa Poe Leese.” As the police arrested people. Before the band was unplugged. They played on the streets. They played in the basement of Magnolia Thunderpussy, a record store. They played at the Cowboy House and the Dyke House. And, after creating their own culture through NOWHERE, they played the hell out of the clubs, clubs they helped create by insisting on the new forms of consciousness that will not repressed, will not be choked, will not be quieted. They supported the formation of Rock Against Racism, which legend has started in Columbus, Ohio (ranks with LA in police brutality), through the Youth International Party (YIPPIES). At the first RAR benefit they played, they shared the stage with Bobby Seale. . . .
Screaming Urge toured the United States and Canada, sometimes three and four months at a time. They played clubs like the Rat in Boston, CBGB’s many times, Rock Island in Houston, Max’s Kansas City (NYC), Raul’s in Austin. The state that loathed the Sex Pistols embraced Screaming Urge. It was large. In 1980, they were hot on the heels of the Go-Gos. Every venue they played the Gos-Gos had been the night before. They opened for the Ramones, Echo and the Bunnymen, and the Fleshtones, to name a few. They were signed to Stiff records in 1980 only to have the deal blown by a manager who claimed to own the songs. Well, the beat goes on. In 1981, they toured again and then some more. Relentlessly. Screaming Urge. Even once punk was allowed in the clubs, Screaming Urge met with resistance playing down south when they walked into a club and the owner saw Myke Rock. Some clubs in the south flatly refused to let the band play. -Baby Lindy
THE SCREAMING URGE were foremost a hard loud & tight pop group. Songwriting strength set them apart from most other locals & their propensity to play anywhere at anytime was endearing. It’s been a blast knowing them all as both rockin’ comrades & good friends. This RI was long overdue & I hope their euphonious 2nd LP soon follows! – Mike Rep