Steve Ewing

Not too long ago, the Urge emerged from beneath that big old arch downriver, staking a keystone claim between Fishbone and Incubus. To its credit, the band accumulated much larger audiences than Fishbone (albeit much smaller than Incubus) and, with “Closer,” scored a perpetu-play on modern-rock radio. But after eight records, the band members had left themselves without room to grow, and the Urge called it quits. Now lead singer Steve Ewing is building things back up on his own. Steve Ewing, of course, isn’t a very efficient hard-rock or funk moniker, but for reggae — the third leaf in Ewing’s musical shamrock — it’s not so bad (though Clive would work better). Ewing is keeping old urges (and occasional Urge songs) intact, with songs ranging from the heavy “Optimism Is a Luxury” to “Sexy 79.” Which reminds us that people were in fact engaging their groove units in 1979, no matter what Billy Corgan might have us believe.

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