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Ume

Sunshower EP

Reviewed by Francesca Camillo, Fri., Jan. 23, 2009

Phases & Stages

Ume

Sunshower EP

A forcefully lusty, rich sonic mosaic, Ume's five-song Sunshower EP is a more polished version of its classically dark, serrated work. The local trio still plucks from a hearty buffet of influences, just a bit more discriminatingly. "East of Hercules" opens with vocalist Lauren Larson's panging guitar vista, nodding to the bombast of the Pretenders' early work with a more clandestine salute to Team Dresch. Hubby Eric Larson holds steady on bass throughout "Pendulum" and "The Conductor" as timing shifts and Jeff Barrera's sometimes-audacious drums peek out from behind the fairer Larson's aggressive bawls and strident riffs. The pretty intro on the subtly sexy title track imparts the smoky grace of its singer's vox and maintains a Sonic Youth thread, just as on "The Means," though both get stuck in the Blonde Redhead vocal camp. Sunshower demonstrates Ume's shift to a slightly more refined, though still amalgamated, sound as consistent as it is vanquishing. (CD release: Saturday, Jan. 24, Mohawk.)

****

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