Austin, TX’s own indie rock trio, Ume, draw upon a spectrum of influences for Phantoms, the band’s current release that brings a refreshing wave of energy to the table. The vocal parts of the opening song, “Rubicon,” are simple yet haunting. An overlay of electronic keys allows for a subtle build up within the track leading to a breakneck rock-oriented guitar solo. ‘90s alt rock vibes are revived on “Burst,” where the chorus and song’s progression sound like something very reminiscent of The Cranberries. There isn’t a hint of Ume’s Southern roots on this album, which is a precise fusion of instruments with a tendency to produce rock along with singer/guitarist Lauren Larson’s enchanting singing.
In the beginning of track number four, “The Push,” a cut where the vocalist repeats in her soaring voice, “I’ve got to get over broken love,” electro-style keys reappear, making for a song that sticks in your head. Phantoms fluctuates from elated and light to heavy throughout its length. The more instrumentally rich cuts are toward the record’s end, with tracks like “Destoyer” and “Run Wild” being the most aggressive musically and vocally. Otherworldly crooning and weighted bass guitar parts make for a creepily cool, groove focused song that reaches multiple guitar climaxes within its three minutes. “Dancing Blind” lightens the mood up with the first half of the tune being something similar to The Smiths while the second part reverts back to the group’s alt rock fallback style.
The album’s final piece, “The Task” is filled with tormented vocals and ethereal background sounds. It’s the gentlest song but could easily be a suitable soundtrack to a disturbing nightmare. Larson adds an unexpected feature to this group’s music with her atypical vocals layered over the animated keys and string instruments. Ume is consistent with their musicianship and knack for melodically haunting their listener via headphones.
In A Word: Eerie