Ever wondered what Dutch rap-rock sounded like" Urban Dance Squad was one of the first major innovators in the genre, and clearly a stylistic precursor, in many ways, to Rage Against the Machine
, although Urban Dance Squad is not as overtly political as that band. This early mix of different genres is a blueprint for everything great about rap-rock (and everything bad, too, but Urban Dance Squad are actually great). This is what happens when guys influenced by The Beatles
, James Brown
, Frank Zappa
and Public Enemy
form a band.
Urban Dance Squad is:
Silly Sil Bass
Tres Manos Guitar
Magic Stick Drums, Executive Producer, Percussion
DJ DNA Sound Effects, Special Effects, Turntables
Vocalist Rudeboy has a great flow and makes for an engaging frontman. The band is left to its basics: guitar, bass, drums, and a DJ.There are different lyrical subjects tackled throughout the album. Some songs serve as crowd excitement, some talk about drug abuse, some about the music industry. "The Devil" is about sex to a certain degree, with a side of Devilish talk that is at the forefront of many great rock and roll songs, from The Rolling Stones
' "Sympathy for the Devil" to Black Sabbath
's "N.I.B.", although, unlike those songs, this is written from man's perspective, not Lucifer's.
As noted above, this album is a mix of different musical styles. Some songs, like "Fast Lane", "Prayer for My Demo" and "Struggle for Jive" are overtly rock-oriented. A few tracks, like the single "Deeper Shade Of Soul", go deeper into the band's hip hop roots, and the album is closed off by "God Blasts The Queen", a good 4 minutes or so of punk chaos.
"Deeper Shade of Soul" also provides an early fusion of blues, rock and hip hop, long before Beck
ever came on the scene, and when Everlast
was still an associate of Ice-T
. The song has a hip hop beat, scratches, and blues guitar, with a soul sample on the side. "Fast Lane" opens up the set with a blast of musical energy that served as the basis for RATM's sound. "The Devil", on the other hand, has a light soundscape with a drum beat, driving bass and occasional guitar sounds.
Mental Floss for The Globe
is a landmark in the rap-rock genre and a great introduction to the extremely underrated Urban Dance Squad, whose musical style should appeal to fans of the long list of artist UDS paved the way for, and even to people who hate the bands UDS influenced. Recently, this was reissued with a bonus disc featuring a 1990 concert which proves the definite talent of the band - their studio sound is retained in their live performance, and they turn out to be a great, energetic live act.