Umphreys Mcgee Similar Skin
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.