Reviewed by Francesca Camillo, Fri., Nov. 14, 2008
UmeWaterloo Park, Nov. 9
Austin's wild trio ignited Sunday's opening of FFFF with the sharp mortar fire of Lauren Larson's guitar. Like a fiery adaptation of Kim Gordon with avian grace, Larson and her guitar slaying were rabid, her vocals snarly, which is pleasantly incongruous with her petite frame. Drawing a generous crowd, Ume played hard and fast and fully, bringing each song to a barbed peak with its frontwoman's brusque, dark vocals. Sprawling guitar work weaved between the thick threads of Eric Larson's bass and Jeff Barrera's drums, stitching a sturdy fabric of sepulchral indie rock with some frayed, meandering edges. The fury with which Mrs. Larson confronts her guitar makes for sweeping, dissonant sounds that, all together, create clandestinely gorgeous melodies once you sift through and pare the layers. Receptive from the beginning, the crowd's investment increased once each point in the isosceles triangle of Ume climbed through the set to be consumed by the strident melodies and quaking vocals that have become its most unique quality.