The amazing artist Jenny Holzer wrote a Truism that said: “Noise can be hostile.” I agree. Lots of noises are hostile to me — hearing construction work outside of my window, a fire engine’s loud siren blasting through the streets, or even if my car makes a sound that it shouldn’t make — they all contribute to my list of sources of hostility. Sometimes listening to different kinds of music makes me feel hostile, as well. I am bound to encounter music that just doesn’t suit my musical taste. Sometimes it’s too mellow, too repetitive, too boring or too generic-sounding, thus, I become annoyed, and hostile, my A.D.D. kicks in, and I usually turn the music off.
So upon listening to Ume’s new album, Urgent Sea I was full of doubt. I had yet to hear of a band named Ume before. I had no idea what kind of style of music they played. But to my lovely surprise, I really like Urgent Sea. It’s a raw, spunk-filled, take-your-breath-away effort. Co-frontpersons Lauren Larson and Eric Larson deliver haunting and delicate vocals that pair well with the band’s fresh and exciting style of rock `n roll.
The band’s genetic make-up is a little shoegazer, garage rock, noise and experimentation, all mixed up into one. Sometimes when I listen to noise bands, they sound so disjointed from a regular rhythmic beat, that it turns me off. On the contrary, Urgent Sea pulls the free-noise into a comprehensive musical synergy. The hard-hitting drum beats, solid guitar lines, and, of course, the vocals place perfectly together.
Urgent Sea isn’t a album with just one or two good songs on it. I could choose any song off the album and enjoy listening to it for the rest of the day. There’s no filler here — the whole album packs a punch of energy to one’s ears. I wouldn’t go so far as to say this album pushes the boundaries and changes the history of music in these modern days. Though while we wait for the next band that will change the face of music, we have great bands like Ume, who keep the foundation of rock n’ roll plastered together.
Blonde Redhead – Melody of Certain Damaged Lemons
Sonic Youth – A Thousand Leaves
My Bloody Valentine – Isn’t Anything