Austin’s power trio Ume is set to release their second EP to the masses. The band has been heralded by many as a powerful group, set to break down the doors of the local scene with their sheer energy. Can they do it on record?
From the opening minute of “East of Hercules” you can tell that the band is bent on getting right up in your face, as heavy guitar work confronts the listener. Here, the percussion has a bit of a bounce to it, which should win the band many fans, as its difficult to combine power and swing in one moment.
Stylistically, the band seems to draw a lot from the alt-girl rock of the late 90s, but they blend it with a freshness that gives the band a bit of a unique quality. A lot of bands simply rehash those old sounds, but Ume are intent upon using their influences as a staging point for their attack, moving beyond the simplistic structures of days of old
Throughout the short EP, they keep up the pace, consistently approaching their high aims. One of the better songs on this set is “The Means” as the band chooses to slow it down a little bit in order to provide some clarity to the rest of the album. This song seems to be the antithesis to the rest of the album, and it sheds their Longwave similarities, breaking entirely new ground. It’s easily the brightest point of the EP, showing the range and capabilities that the band possess.
One drawback might be the fact that the vocals don’t reach the clarity during all the songs, much as they do in “The Means.” Often the wall of guitar and energy shield the listener from attaching one’s self from the lyrics. Sure, it’s a slight misstep for a promising new act, but for a fan of lyrics and vocals, it might be a bit disappointing.
Five songs later, you can see a band growing before your eyes. It closes with the sultry “Pendelum,” moving the band beyond all your expectations. Expect a powerful live show, and a bright future from this local act. To see that powerful live act, you should all check out the band this Saturday night at The Mohawk for their CD release party. It’s sure to be a rocking good time!
Download: Ume – The Conductor [MP3]