Austin, Texas-based trio follows up its debut four years later with a newfound balance between aggression and sweetness.
Combining angular guitar lines and a formidable rhythm section with a Pixies-like mastery of the quiet/loud dynamic, Ume has gradually built a reputation as a blistering live band in and beyond its Austin, Texas hometown. But oddly enough, melting audience members' faces and winning fans like Gang of Four bassist Dave Allen hasn't translated into a steady regimen of studio recordings -- Sunshower EP is the trio's first new release since 2005's Urgent Sea.
If four years between records seems an eternity these days, Ume doesn't appear to have noticed. In fact, the time off has served them well -- in a mere five songs, the band transcends the more clearly stated influences of its debut by tempering singer/guitarist Lauren Larson's aggressive tendencies with a newfound sweetness, particularly on standout songs like "The Conductor" and "The Means".
Held in comparison to its predecessor, Sunshower EP reflects significant advances for Ume in terms of musicianship, songwriting, and overall confidence -- the power of those renowned live performances is infinitely more apparent. And even though it partially serves (as EPs often do) as a teaser for a full-length album, Sunshower more than stands on its own.