|Genres||Synthpunk, punk rock|
|Years active||1976–1980, reformed 2003|
|Labels||Rough Trade, Radar, Polystar, Seventeen, Acute|
Métal Urbain was one of the first French punk groups, formed in 1976 in Paris.
They were heavily influenced by The Clash and The Sex Pistols on one hand, and on the other by an electro approach related to Metal Machine Music by Lou Reed. They relied on heavily distorted guitars and replaced the traditional rock rhythm section of bass guitar/drums with a synthesizer and drum machine, a then-unique approach that foreshadowed the experimental possibilities that were explored by later post-hardcore bands such as Big Black. They were also known for their radical image (the color scheme of albums always being a stark black, white and red), and subversive lyrics sung in French.
They were met with much enthusiasm in England, particularly by John Peel and the Rough Trade label. (Métal Urbain's single "Paris Maquis" was Rough Trade's first release.) They had an enthusiastic but small audience in France, receiving little exposure. The punk rock scene was not as popular in France as it was in England, and they did not interest the French media as English bands like the Sex Pistols did. As a result, the band broke up by 1979, though members scattered to form such groups as Metal Boys, Doctor Mix and the Remix, and Desperados, as well as joining Ashpalt Jungle.
Métal Urbain had focused their efforts on singles, and only produced one album, Les hommes morts sont dangereux, during their first period of activity. However, several compilation records were released, gathering their singles with additional material such as BBC sessions and live recordings.
The band reunited in 2003 to tour in the USA, and had since toured consistently in France and the rest of Europe. Métal Urbain recorded in 2006 their first studio album, J'irai chier dans ton vomi, produced by Jello Biafra in San Francisco; a follow up mini-album, Crève Salope, was issued in 2008.
Current band members
- Éric Débris (Éric Daugu): singer, programming (since 1976)
- Hermann Schwartz (Jean-Louis Boulanger): guitar (since 1977)
- Vott : guitar (since 2003)
- Jérôme Solo : programming (since 2004)
Former band members
- Clode Panik (Claude Perrone): singer (1976–1978)
- Rikky Darling (Éric Feidt): guitar (1976-1977 / 1984-1987)
- Pat Lüger (Patrick Boulanger): guitar (1977–1980)
- Zip Zinc (Jean-Pierre Zing) : programming (1976-1977 / 1984-1987)
- Charlie H (Charles Hurbier): programming (1979-1980 / 1984-1987 / 2003)
- T.G. Parker : programming (2003)
- 1977 - "Panik"/"Lady Coca Cola" Cobra COB 47004
- 1977 - "Paris Maquis"/"Cle De Contact" Rough Trade RT001
- 1978 - "Hystérie Connective"/"Pas Poubelle" Radar Records ADA 20
- 1980 - Les hommes morts sont dangereux (re-released 25th anniversary signed edition 2006)
- 1985 - L'âge d'or (fan club compilation, double LP)
- 2003 - Chef d'œuvre (French double CD compilation)
- 2004 - Anarchy in Paris! (US compilation)
- 2006 - J'irai chier dans ton vomi (full length album, produced by Jello Biafra, Exclaim Musique France)
- 2008 - Crève Salope (8 re-recording of Métal Urbain classic songs + 8 videos, Archambault Musique France)
- 2008 - Anthologie 77-79 (full length triple CD box set)
- Crumsho, Michael (February 5, 2004). "Dusted Reviews: Metal Urbain—Anarchy in Paris!". Dusted Magazine. Retrieved November 12, 2012.
- "Metal Urbain". Metalorgie (in French). Retrieved November 12, 2012.
- Marteau, Olivier (January 20, 2005). "French Punk New Wave 1975–1985". Francomix. Retrieved November 12, 2012.