Risk-Taking Pop Rock
Ume’s EP Too Big World is unapologetically rock and roll with the pop twist of having a smooth toned female lead vocal. It then comes as no surprise that the psychedelic rock band has had recording sessions with the producer of fellow female power rockers, Cat Power and Queens of the Stone Age. With a voice reminiscent of Karen O, Ume has the potential to make some heads roll.
Too Big World showcases Ume’s versatility to capture the essence of different genres within each track while still having the rhythm guitar as the common thread that weaves them all together. The album’s namesake single, “Too Big World” is a rambunctious, angsty alternative anthem. It’s then followed up by “Gleam,” revealing the unplugged side of Ume, which is much more somber and emotional. “Gleam” sounds like it could belong on the Garden State soundtrack while “Too Big World” would be more on the Warped Tour side of life.
“Web In Front” has more of an indie rock feel, with more cutesy lyrics and a warmer guitar setting. “Common Queen” features an acoustic piano with a repetitive melody and hushed vocal intonations in the beginning and eventually transitions into a dreamy haze. Ume’s cover of Neil Young’s “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” has a touch of psychedelic, but primarily stays true to the characteristic distorted riffing guitar that complements the ever so occasional grit in Ume’s voice. The softness of Ume’s voice takes the edge off the hard rocking guitar that is at the core of every song, creating a nice contrast of texture.
Too Big World is another testament towards the return to grunge rock that seems to be an emerging subgenre arising as indie rock becomes more prevalent in the current music vernacular. While the album only consists of six tracks, Ume still exhibits a range of flexibility within the alternative rock genre. By including a couple emotional ballads, a carefree indie rock track and few inarguably progressive rock tracks, Ume stitches together an eclectic mix of alternative rock with ambient tones.