Issue #19 Oct. 13th - Oct. 26th, 2006

CD Review:
Ume -- Urgent Sea
By: Adrian Fallwell
Photos By: Ki

Of all the CDs that I got from bands that I saw last year, only a few have become favorites that I play again and again. They have that something special that hits just right and brightens the day or makes the ride in traffic a little more bearable. The sound of the band, the structure of the music, the hooks and melodies, and the resonance of the voice that narrates the musical journey all come together just right to create the perfect musical experience. The Pixies would be the ultimate example of this. Ume are one of these bands for me. The process by which they made it into my favs was gradule.

First, I caught them live at The Conservatory last fall. I can’t even remember who I was there to see. Ume was one of the opening bands, and up steps a bare bones 3-piece, 2 guys on rhthym, and this tiny blonde female picks up a green Fender Jaguar, and within a few minutes the stage was exploding. The tiny blonde slammed and pounded the guitar like a child with ADD, but the music coming out was solid and melodic riffs. She jumped and spun back and forth, flinging her hair around until there was nothing but a fuzzy blur where her head should be. Her voice hits the mic and out comes this raspy, deep, yet soft and sweet voice that I wasn’t sure what to make of at first. One moment she would sound like she was straining for breath, pulling back on her voice like she was afraid to let you here it, then suddenly this curdling scream hits at the break and she belts out the chorus. There are some obvoius lines to draw here toward Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, but Kim’s rasp echos the obstinance of the New York punk scene, where Ume’s front female somehow seems innocent and inviting, even with the anger behind the delivery.

So the show rocked and we got their CD, Urgent Sea. Ume consists of the energetic drummer, Jeff Barerra, and the wife/husband team of Lauren & Eric Larson. As is often the case, the vocals came through much clearer on the CD, and as a whole, it sounded very different then they did live, amps up front, blarring through the venue. As I would listen to it in my car, whatever song I stopped on would then stay stuck in my head. Some hook would loop over and over in my mind. I wasn’t sure what the lyrics were, but I could hear the guitar laying out the melody clear as day. And so now I’ve digested this album repeatedly, and in fact, I can just think the music in my head, which is why I am excited as hell that I get to see them live again. I need more Ume! Check out to sample a couple of songs from Urgent Sea, and don’t miss their performance at The Conservatory on Friday, October 27th.

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©2006 NONCO Media, L.L.C.