Um­phreys Mcgee Sim­i­lar Skin

Guitar Techniques - - Music Reviews -

Noth­ing Too Fancy Mu­sic

When a CD ar­rives with a ‘Cau­tion, con­tents are awe­some’ sticker on it, you have to ad­mire the au­dac­ity. Truth is the state­ment is, if any­thing, an un­der­state­ment. This is an ex­tremely orig­i­nal rock al­bum that bor­ders on progressive, with strong songs, ad­ven­tur­ous ar­range­ments and qual­ity per­for­mances from this Amer­i­can sex­tet. That will come as no sur­prise to their fol­low­ers as, amaz­ingly, this is their sev­enth stu­dio al­bum. Orig­i­nally a four-piece, the band was formed in Chicago in 1997 by Brendan Bayliss (vo­cals, gui­tar), bassist Ryan Stasik, drum­mer Mike Mirro and Joel Cum­mins on keys. And boy, do they make a great sound to­gether! Plenty of vari­a­tion in styles and mu­si­cal em­pha­sis here make it a sonic de­light from start to fin­ish, with 11 finely-crafted and beau­ti­fully per­formed songs that cap­ture the imag­i­na­tion and the heart. Bayliss can cer­tainly throw out a good solo (lis­ten to Loose Ends), but that’s not what this al­bum is about. Check out the stac­cato sec­tions on Ed­u­cated Guess and the ex­cel­lent opener, The Lin­ear. This is rock mu­sic at its best, so we urge you to give it a lis­ten.

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