Urban Homes - 2013 - album cover


1. Ivory Tower Guard!
2. Aurora
3. Ayran Gifbek Mersi
4. Full Trance Effect
5. Untitled Luv


URBAN HOMES is a fine young band from Cologne. Founded in 2008 and raised in a post-hardcore and punk influenced microcosm, their style is highly eclectic and surprisingly electric. Centres is their debut album and what stays after the first listening is a well balanced impression of a multifaceted band, progressive without getting clumsy, experimental without being unconnectable.

With it’s five songs, maybe the usual amount of tracks for an EP, the album looks quite short on the first view. And even if you get some more or less straight and classic song structures, exactly placed and arranged on 35 minutes, this record feels more like a small showcase or a set the band have played for you, instead of a fixed physical release with an unchangeable sequence. One reason for this unusual but highly pleasant flow on Centres is, of course, the kind of music that URBAN HOMES play. A homogeneous, foggy sound wall, that you can dance to or just listen to.

And suddenly here we are, totally lost in sounds, instruments, genres and references. URBAN HOMES combine a lot of styles, fortunately not in a boring nor in an exhausting way but highly ambitious like great pop groups in the good old days made it. If asked to explain what made a lot of the famous pop music, especially from the 80s, so unique and durable, you can probably say it’s the art of producing it with real instruments – on the background of classic genres like rock, soul and jazz. Even if this sounds a bit worn out, it’s like a formula that you can use on good bands and which also perfectly works on this one.

The album starts with straight TR 707 claps, a lovely and always recurring element, combined with some dreamy feedbacking guitar work and analogue synthesizer sounds. Shortly afterwards the opener Ivory Tower Guard! shows it’s shaking and grooving face, followed by Aurora which successfully installs some balearic house moods. Vocals are subordinated at the sound concept of URBAN HOMES, Gifbek Ayran Mersi is one of the tracks that gives space for them. Nevertheless those vocals are more used as an instrument, choral and falsetto voices producing some warm layers on the mostly guitar based sounds. On Full Trance Effect some sexy saxophone is added that’s topped by the driving percussion work of the albums last tune Untitled Luv which shows real rave qualities and fades out slowly. URBAN HOMES‘ debut brings a nice and fresh after hour sound with synthetic perfection and some analogue love.