In The Red is proud to announce this double-vinyl release of The Urinals’ Negative Capability, originally released by Amphetamine Reptile on CD in 1996. Before changing their name to the less restricting 100 Flowers and becoming one of the most respected underground post-punk-pop acts in the US, Los Angeles’s seminal trio released eleven songs during their 1977-1980 tenure—ten on their three 7-inch singles and one more on a 7-inch compilation, all on their own Happy Squid label (they were about the only Los Angeles band to do that back then). This retrospective triples their output to 31 songs!
Want to hear America’s Wire, only twice as primitive (if that’s possible), with one quarter the sound quality? Even when they are covering the Soft Machine’s “Why Are We Sleeping?” they sound like a three-step primer on minimalism, in scratchy, fast, burping, nutso punk with clipped vocals. You can see why the Minutemen covered “Ack Ack Ack Ack,” but it’s the real solid, melodic stuff—such as the Last-inspired harmonies of the great A-sides “Black Hole” and “Sex,” and “Scholastic Aptitude,” and the instrumental “Surfing With the Shah” (which foreshadows the coming of 100 Flowers and later offshoot Trotsky Icepick)—that makes so many Angelinos remember this goofy but great trio so fondly. Negative Capability has an unrelenting, authoritative intelligence and sense of humor. —Jack Rabid