The most recent Urban Dance Squad
album is reissued here in a deluxe two-fer that also includes a live recording from New York in 1997. Kudos to Triple X for the fine packaging and for having the good taste to give these Dutch metal/hip-hop-heads another shot at the U.S. market that ignored them, so inexplicably, during their seven-year career. It's not that Americans don't like the idea of rock/hip-hop fusion -- witness the popularity of the Red Hot Chili Peppers
. But for some reason, the Urban Dance Squad never caught on the same way. That's our loss. Planet Ultra
opens with the highly crunchy "Nonstarter" before sliding into the downright melodic "Temporarily Expendable." It then bounces back and forth from straight-ahead metal fare, like "Forgery," to the slow and deeply funky "Pass the Baton Right." DJ DNA
was long gone by this point, but someone's playing pretty cool turntable on that last track. The live disc doesn't cohere quite as well, but it's worth hearing.