Urban Verbs

  • Urban Verbs
  • Urban Verbs (Warner Bros.) 1980 
  • Early Damage (Warner Bros.) 1981 

Fascinating but tragically overlooked, Washington, DC’s Urban Verbs were an arty quintet whose lead singer was the brother of Talking Heads drummer Chris Frantz. And therein lay the Verbs’ problem: while guitarist Robert Goldstein guided the band through striking modern instrumental pieces of depth and quality, Roddy Frantz’s urban-alienation lyrics, delivered in a fair approximation of David Byrne’s vocal style, typecast the group as second-string imitators. The Verbs’ records showed great potential, but this needless flaw prevented them from being taken seriously.

[Ira Robbins]