Terrorvision‘s third album, “Regular Urban Survivors”, is a bit of a concept-album in its themes. But it’s not your average pompous, arty concept album, it’s much more friendly – like it’s your best mate, if you’re so inclined. The concept/theme running throughout is based around action movies. James Bond, Mission Impossible – there’s murder, mystery and intrigue. Aliens in “Didn’t Bleed Red”, conspiracies (“Conspiracy”), hit lists (“Celebrity Hit List”) – this album has all sorts of adventures going on.
Alongside this, there is a definite “sound of the times”. Regular Urban Survivors was released eighteen years ago in 1996, in the wake of grunge music. Fuzzy guitars and verses doused in a “couldn’t care less” attitude feature throughout, the perfect example of this is “Superchronic” which you can hear via the video at the bottom of this review. The whole album is full of off-the-cuff remarks and clever word games and rhymes, but it’s still not too humorous to be taken seriously. Theirs is a humour that was more of a commentary than cynicism, take this verse from “Easy”:
Living out three separate lives,
with nothing else to do besides, it’s easy,
They’d wrote Bradford off the map,
then all that old commercial crap, it’s easy.
Hassle bound? Not me,
I’m happy and it’s easy and it’s free.
The album plays around with different genres of rock, from “Didn’t Bleed Red”‘s Brit-rock to the fast-paced punk of “If I Was You”, it sees Terrorvision at their creative peak – such heights they would never reach again, even though they did manage to score a hit with “Tequila” before eventually fizzling out in the 2000s. So, although most fans herald “How to Make Friends and Influence People” (Terrorvision’s 1994 release and their second album), the real gems can be found on Regular Urban Survivors.