That means there wasn't much hope for Austin, TX's Ume when their album Monuments came across my desktop. They checked none of the boxes, plus they were burdened with a really stupid name.
However, the description sent that accompanied the record made me curious, so I gave it a listen.
I'm sure glad that I did. Ume is the hardest rocking female-fronted power trio I've had the pleasure of hearing in a dog's age. Thanks in large part to a killer rhythm section that provides a bold heavy bottom end, the group display a remarkably measured power.
The album kicks off with the Sabbath-inspired riffage of "Black Stone" and rarely eases off the gas pedal. Tracks like "Until the End" and "Reason" display the discipline that Ume bring to their performances.
A more melodic side sneaks through on the no less hard rocking "Embrace". "Gleam" is a shiny guitar-driven number that nudges towards power pop.
The record's standout cut is "Barricade", which sounds like Lykke Li's "I Follow Rivers" on a 'riod rage rampage.
There are a couple of completely stripped-down tracks, Barophobia" and "Within My Bones", that meet with less success.
Monuments is a lesson to me that I should take chances a little more often with what I choose to open up and listen to.
Best tracks: "Barricade", "Black Stone"
Track listing for Monuments:
- Black Stone
- Too Big World
- Chase It Down
- Until the End
- Oh Fate
- Within My Bones