Umphrey’s McGee’s Hall of Fame Class of 2013 [Stream/Review]

first_imgDear Umphrey’s McGee Fans,You all have great taste in music (but you already knew that). I had the recent privilege of checking out their 2013 Hall of Fame album, and I have two words for ya: holy shit. This is the kind of material that transforms a casual listener into a fan. It’s as if UM wrapped up 10 genres and made it work so tight. It’s just, Umph.Not only that, but what a great idea to have fans vote for their favorite live tracks of the year. Good music made by good people, chosen by good fans. This link on their website really explains their creative process and protools template, for an in depth look at this annual tradition.Here are three tracks you need to be listening to right now:Dump City: With a snare drum roll and anticipated fill we are off to the races grooving. This song starts with twangy stanky guitar riffage, punchy organ, slap bass, and pocket drumming and morphs to metal fusion faster than you can say, “This band is fuckin’ sick, dude!” by the time the sub bass midi drums come in at 5:08 we are thoroughly gliding through the atmosphere on parallel major chords on synth, midi percussion drums, wah guitar wackiness, and all balanced with the bass Bumping in E minor.They take it up, they take it down, and then they bring it all around by 14:57 with what sounds of something out of 90s metal (in the best possible way). One track in the musical ears are worked and weathered, waiting patiently for the next track to kill it.Wappy Sprayberry: So it starts with tasty, classy bass chords and at 0:24 sexifies expressively. If you’re a sucker for 16th note high hats, a wee bit of double bass, chorus pedals, and a disco dipped jam then you’re in for a treat. The next two minutes sounds like a mix of that with the Dynasty warriors video game soundtrack as a cherry on top.At 4:00 though, they go there. Bitcrushed bass with delay pedaled guitar washes over every wave like ocean waves.  This track was recorded at Riverside Theater in Milwaukee; and it sure flows. This is the kind of music, specifically, one could listen to on repeat for a month straight and still not get bored of, because they are trying to sing along with all the parts they are trying to hear. Or you sit back and vibe, for that same month long.  Anyone who says Umphrey’s McGee doesn’t groove/jam/get down; show him or her this one. This one right here.Blue Echo: Last song on the list, but not the least. That opening riff sounds something a Pharaoh would write… on acid. The guitar harmony in this is intense as they perfectly drop it into a quieter, more open space where the upright piano can drop fingers on keys like rain on concrete. Then boom! Back to Egyptian heavy rock prowess riffs, this time with a breakbeat behind it.Around 3:32 is where they make the Eminor to Cmajor chord progression belong to them alone. The buildup is loose, yet precise. Every measure grabs you and pulls you in deeper. That’s probably why their shows are so epic, by the time they bring back the good old fashioned hard rock (around 8:38 in this case), old fans and new are screaming in approval and applause.Umphrey’s McGee have done something really special here. They have taken the tracks that the fans loved most this year and made a proverbial “Hall of Fame” for them. Thanks for the sounds, Umphrey’s. Can’t wait for next year’s.Track ListingSet I: Dump City (10.16.13 Higher Ground, South Burlington, VT) Kabump > (02.14.13 The Metropolitan Theatre, Morgantown, WV) The Triple Wide > (12.28.13 The Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, CO) Bad Friday (12.31.13 Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, CO) Features Mad Dog’s Filthy Little Secret Horns Conduit (08.17.13 FirstMerit Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island, Chicago, IL) Debra (05.25.13 Summer Camp Music Festival, Chillicothe, IL)Set II: Wappy Sprayberry > (11.01.13 Riverside Theater, Milwaukee, WI) Robot World> (06.08.13 Chautauqua Auditorium, Boulder, CO) Rebubula (05.24.13 Summer Camp Music Festival, Chillicothe, IL) Der Bluten Kat > Amble On > Der Bluten Kat (12.29.13 Fillmore Auditorium, Denver, CO) Features Joshua Redman on saxophone & Jaden Carlson on guitarEncore: Resolution > (08.23.13 Riverfront Park, Nashville, TN) Blue Echo (12.30.13 1 Up Colfax, Denver, CO)last_img

1 thought on “Umphrey’s McGee’s Hall of Fame Class of 2013 [Stream/Review]”

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