Other Nature (Modern Outsider)
Reviewed by Christina Garcia, Fri., July 27, 2018
Wife and husband team Lauren and Eric Larson, alongside new drummer Aaron Perez, catapult heavy riffs and haunting melodies to headbanging peaks on Other Nature, the Austin trio's first album since 2014. Lauren Larson casts an enchantment with shredder skill over clenched growls when her ethereal vocals don't hypnotize, even as Ume's priorities have shifted slightly, coinciding with the birth of the Larsons' first child. Shimmering banger "Crushed" starts the proceedings as a love song to said offspring, her mother having written the material herein as her daughter slept and while playing through tendinitis. The trio's previous full-lengths, 2014's Monuments, 2011's Phantoms, and 2005's Urgent Sea, leaned into upbeat punk, pop, indie rock, and thrash metal influences from their first seconds and kept it up aside from a few interspersed contemplative cuts. That hair-whipping begins halfway through Other Nature, Ume expanding slightly into acoustic slow burners ("Underneath") and lullabies ("After the Show") with the characteristic turns and twists that keep the group's material riveting and more intimate overall.