A Little Something of Everything
Have you ever listened to an album and then proceeded to ask yourself: what did I just listen to? Because that is what you will ask yourself after listening to Ume’s newest album Monuments. These Austin natives describe their music as “powerful rock songs [which] contain a multitude of opposing juxtapositions, balancing elegance with brutality, strength with fragility, ferocious metal and sweet melody.” However, to a listener, their sound can be described in a much simpler way: confusing.
No two songs on this album sound the same. This is true from the first track, “Black Stone,” which has a very strong metal influence, to track six, “Barophobia,” which is an acoustic track that uses electronic production tools to double Laura Larson’s vocals and give her backing vocals as well. In most cases, the absence of large amounts of repetition would be considered to be a positive. However, with this album, the songs are in fact so different that it’s hard to remember that you’re listening to a single album, rather it sounds like your iPod with shuffle turned on.
Yet, despite the chaotic extremes you hear when listening to Ume’s new album, many of the individual songs out of context are quite interesting. Songs like “Too Big World,” which has a heavy, walking bass line similar to that of The White Stripes’ “Seven Nation Army” or “Within My Bones,” which has clear vocals that lead to the listener feeling emotional and uneasy, are two great examples of how Ume are a talented, unique and creative group. They clearly have individual songwriting talent; they need to work on creating an album that is cohesive and appropriately reflects their strengths. Monuments is one of those albums you should listen to at least once, because it has a little something for everyone, and stands out in today’s music world.