Metal Urbain - History Connective

Claude Panik - Vocals Eric Debris - Synth/Drum Machine Herman Schwartz - Gtr Nancy Luger - Gtr

A band like Metal Urbain don't come along that often. Formed in Paris in 1977 as a direct reaction to the UK punk explosion of 1976, Metal Urbain were the only punks to use a drum machine. The metronomic rhythm that under-pinned their furious two gtr attack set them apart from the arbiters of the new wave that were escaping from every suburban garage in town. Metal Urbain meant it, maaan.

Metal Urbain became the first act to release a single on the ground breaking British independent label, Rough Trade; "Paris Maquis"/"Cle De Contact" - RT001, in January 1978 (sadly absent from recent retrospectives). Two months earlier the band had issued their debut single on French label, Cobra. "Panic"/"Lady Coca Cola" was a prime blast of fuzzed up rage. The savage twin gtrs offered Stooge-tastic riffage & excellent shouting. They may have sung in their native tongue but they still managed to convey the same righteous anger that the Pistols vented in English.

In Sept 1978 a brief liaison with Jake Riviera's Radar Records produced the seminal "Hysterie Connective"/"Pas Poubelle" single. A debut lp, "Les Hommes Mort Sont Dangereux", finally appeared on Byzz Records collecting all the tracks from their first three singles.

Despite further incarnations as The Metal Boys & DR Mix & The Remix, the "L'Age D'Or" anthology remains their definitive statement. Issued by Fan Club Records on lp & cd, this almost impossible to find document is essential to the understanding of the development of punk. Punters wishing to discover the band for the first time are urged to trawl the browsers of record fairs where you should succeed in picking up their 7" singles without too much trauma.

Metal Urbain were mavericks ahead of their time, the world has spent the last 20 odd years playing catch up.

Evan Halshaw

contact - the needle & the damage done