Saturday, June 25, 2011

Ume - Experimental Punk Meets Prog/Metal Chops

Hailing from Austin Texas is an amazing band that goes by the name of Ume. They play a particular brand of music that they themselves classify as "experimental punk" and "heavy indie." Although I agree that these descriptions apply, I would add to that an extremely high level of musical ability, especially in the massive guitar chops of frontwoman Lauren Langer Larson.

Ume live at The Rock Shop, June 11, 2011
All photos by Dave Cromwell

Playing as a power trio, the band is rounded out by longtime bassist (and Lauren's husband) Eric Larson and recently added drummer Rachel Fuhrer.

Listen in to my recently conducted interview with the band, outside of The Rock Shop, where they had just completed their set on June 11, 2011.

Check out their live rendition on this night of one of their very best songs
The Conductor

Here they rip out a glorious version of "Hurricane II"

Golden hair flying is a frequent visual at an Ume show.

In addition to be a truly masterful guitarist, Lauren is a
wonderful singer as well.

One more live track from this great night of music

Ume the band. Overwhelming you with power.

A captured moment in time.

Find out more about Ume at these links:


Ivanka said...

wow! as usual my compliments to you Dave! well done!
I have to say I didn't heard about band but after your review I always wanna find out more!
love that first picture !!!

Anonymous said...

Great review :) I liked the videos !

DaveCromwell said...

It's always great to read that people want to "find out more" based on one of my features here. Glad to know you both enjoyed this.

One thing I left out that I'd like to put here now - if you are curious about the band's name - an Ume is an Asian tree species or flower. Long a beloved subject in the traditional painting of East Asia and Vietnam, is usually translated as plum blossom.

Mr Smork said...

nice piece dave.
interview is what i always wait checking your blog thing.
i got to say i really dig this band. and you talked about comparing them to sonic youth or black sabath, when i heard ume i was remenising of germany's band "guano apes". passionate female singing and strong guitars gave me that impression.
and an awkward thing - i think they weren't to exited about question about the books. :)))
anyway - like video interview. really entertaining and interesting.
i checked their songs i could find on the net and i like this band. "conuctor" was quiet a strong and catchy. (and only official clip i could find) :)
and lead singer looks kind of cute. :)
really good one of the most entertaining and interesting fro you this year. :)

DaveCromwell said...

Glad to hear you are investigating further into their sound, Mr. Smork.

Yeah, I think "The Conductor" is their only official video so far - but there are many amazing *live* clips up on the net for these guys.

In fact - one of the most recent is really *kick ass*

Check this one out:

Mr Smork said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mr Smork said...

yep. but those live clips are lacking of quality. but their music isn't.

Patricia said...

Well done Dave, great pics, vids and cool band!

DaveCromwell said...

Actually I disagree with you Mr. Smork - about the live clips "lacking in quality"

Although I too enjoy a good studio recording - nothing tops the energy of a live event. Of course, it helps if you are actually there live ;-)

But - far too much emphasis is placed on these pristine, auto-tuned recordings done in studios - that do not accurately reflect at all what a band actually sounds like.

I think Ume comes off quite well as a live band. And as you can hear in the interview - it is Lauren's favorite part of being a musician.

Thanks for the kind words, Paty!

ViewFromSpookysDoghouse said...

Note to self: Be sure to pray to the snow goddesses else one find oneself buried in an avalanche! Damn! (pronounced DAY-umm!) How about that Rachel @ 2:35-2:50 of the Baby Xie Xie video! She attacks the kit with a furor only matched by her last name :) And how about Triple L's verse guitar arpeggios and arpeggios starting at 2:55 of Hurricane II! Of course, I also appreciate a good "Tornado-Style Hairdo" like the one you captured in the top photo. Lastly, the interview makes them seem like lovely people to converse with. Good blog, ol' chum!

DaveCromwell said...

Great analysis of the performances, VFSD.

And I can assure you that the video interview gives you an accurate impression - they are truly some of the nicest people on the music scene today.

Mr Smork said...

well dave, i bet they perform good, and with spirit, but those live videos recorded with some odd cameras aren't good. they are good to get impression what they play, but they lack of quality. and they will never overtakes the feeling you get by being in a gig. those vids have lots of side noises.
maybe proper live recording with mixer and stuff would be cool.

Anonymous said...

Is it just me or is this spring/summer a golden age of Dave's writing?

I gave a listen to this band's music and it's really something. Very cinematic, very energetic but not in an intrusive kind of way- there's something gentle about them. I like the fact that I can't think of any band that they remind me of. I find small similiarities between them and other fantastic band showcased here before, Joy Formidable, but those similarities are minor, mostly due to the voice which sounds a little alike.

Honesyly, I can't find anything "punk" about their sound. Sure, it's a little noisy and seems to be "out of control" at times but that brings us rather to Frank Zappa and King Crimson areas of music. When Ume goes silent in some tracks they remind of early Genesis- there's a very similar vibe in the vocals especially, pretty much like what Peter Gabriel did on "Foxtrot" and "Nursery Cryme" albums. Just compare Ume's "Sunshower" and Genesis' "The Fountain of Salmacis".

I really hope to hear more of this band and to see them right here, Dave!

I still have to watch your interview with the band but I will absolutely do it soon!

Great band, great entry, great blog.