Arts, The Muse

Urgent punkers

In a perfect world without the constraints of money and rules set by ‘the Man,’ Kevin Coffrin and his wily biker gang bros would be lying dead in some club, killed at the hands of murderous stripper zombies. There would be nudity, gore, plenty of leather and all the other fixings of a cheesy ’70s monster flick. Unfortunately, life doesn’t always turn out (or end) the way you would want.

‘That all fell through a couple of weeks before the shoot,’ Coffrin, bassist for the Burlington, Vt. based band The Urgency, said of the band’s first video shoot. ‘Then this other treatment fell into our hands and they were like, ‘Oh you’ll be shot on a green screen and there will be this giant goddess woman that turns into a destructive six-armed figure floating around and moving according to the song.”

Close enough. The video for the pop-punk rockers’ first single, ‘Fingertips,’ has since been picked up by MTVU, a major accomplishment for the up and coming band that is gearing up to release its first full length album, through Island/Def Jam Records, in March 2009. The quintet, which also features guitarists Ian Molla and Ryan Siegel, drummer Guerin Blask and vocalist Tyler Gurwicz, have been making a name for themselves as the next big thing in alternative rock over the last year with this single and incessant touring.

Hailing from the New England stomping grounds of popular jam band Phish, The Urgency offers a more mainstream rock departure from the ‘hippie music’ scene overwhelming the Vermont college town some of the guys grew up in. With catchy lyrics channeling Fall Out Boy, an upbeat pop-punk sound reminiscent of Gatsby’s American Dream, and even some Death Cab-esque vocals, The Urgency has been creeping onto iPods everywhere since their formation three years ago at Ithaca College, where Coffrin, Molla and Blask were studying jazz and musical performance.

‘The whole time we were doing that we all played in a rock band together,’ Coffrin says. ‘We all kind of knew that we wanted to go into more mainstream rock.’

The guys did just that, and even landed themselves a spot on the 2007 Vans Warped Tour, on which they first caught recent pop-punk sensation Paramore. After being blown away by the mainstage band’s performance, the guys decided that they wanted that kind of clarity and ‘tight’ sound on their album. After doing a little research and discovering that David Bendeth had produced Paramore’s last album, Molla sent him a MySpace message commenting on his production and asking if he’d like to work with the guys.

‘David then left us a message the next day,’ Coffrin says. ‘He took us into his home and really took us under his wing and taught us a lot about dynamics and song writing.’

The guys hit another stroke of luck when Island/Def Jam approached them with a record deal when they were only halfway through recording the album. After living together in a cramped one-room apartment in Brooklyn for a year trying to catch a break, the band’s dreams were finally being realized.

‘For this album it was definitely about growing up,’ vocalist Gurwicz explained. ‘I mean the concept of the first single [‘Fingertips’] is about not being able to put your faith and trust in someone else until you have faith in yourself.’

The band’s faith in themselves and hard work has paid off. They’ll be hitting the road in January with We Are The Ocean for a two week long U.K. tour, their first-ever tour in Europe.’ However, you can catch the band tonight at The Middle East Downstairs.

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