UME - Monuments
Album Review

UME – Monuments

Austin trio UME, pronounced ‘ooo-may’, have unveiled their third album Monuments, which serves as the follow-up to ‘Phantoms’ and ‘Urgent Sea’.

UME, made up of Lauren Larson (guitarist/vocalist), her husband Eric Larson (bassist), and Rachel Fuhrer (drums), describe their sound as “powerful rock songs, balancing elegance with brutality, strength with fragility, ferocious metal and sweet melody”, all of which is perfectly captured on this new release. Produced by Grammy awarding winning Adam Kasper (Queens of the Stone Age, Foo Fighters, Nirvana), Monuments showcase the group’s raw, uncompromising energy and delivers a raucous, powerful statement of rock ‘n’ roll.

‘Black Stone’ bursts onto the scene with plenty of bass heavy riffs and Lauren Larson’s edgy, raw vocals. With its apparent Queens of the Stone Age influences, courtesy of producer Adam Kasper, ‘Black Stone’ sets the tone for Monuments, as it gradually builds in tempo to an all-out rocker of a track. ‘Embrace’ gives great momentum to the album, with its infectious guitar hooks and driving up-tempo melody, while ‘Too Big World’ offers some balance with Larson’s layered echoed vocals, before building to some stirring electric guitar solos and crashing drums. This momentum continues in ‘Chase It Down’ with some colossal power rock riffs and crashing drums, serving up an electric, raw energy you’d expect to hear from a live show.

UME have a great talent of seamlessly shifting from all out raucous music to more restrained lyrical tracks, such as they the killer guitar riffs and intense drums of ‘Until The End’, to the more acoustic subtle sounding ‘Barophobia’. The emotionally charged track puts Laurens vocals front and centre; definitely a favourite on the album offering a lighter side to the trio’s heavy power rock driven album.

While the majority of the album is extremely rock heavy, ‘Revival’ introduces some percussive accompaniment giving it a more indie feel, not to mention an instantly catchy hook with the lyrics “Come along for a ride”. Another element which gives great balance throughout Monument is their ability to invest great emotion into the songs, which can so easily be lost amidst the crashing drums and raw garage guitar riffs. ‘Gleam’, dedicated to Lauren’s friend Esme Barrera, offers a deeply personal song, elevated by Lauren’s gentle vocals. Monuments continues to explore the light and shade elements with ‘Oh Fate’ and ‘Barricade’ building to a fiery conclusion with its furious electric guitar hooks and intense vocals, while ‘Within My Bone’s offer soothing vocals and simple acoustic guitar accompaniment. The final track ‘Reason’ opens with some melodic piano keys before building to its epic and uplifting album closer.

Monuments showcases UME as a powerhouse of rock ‘n’ roll as they continue to push boundaries with their ferocious flair and creative talents. The 40 minute album highlights UME’s colossal sound and energy, as well as their creativeness and emotional range. Having already shared the stage with Foals, Warpaint and The Smashing Pumpkins, the versatile trio are set to make their debut UK performance supporting Black Sabbath in Hyde Park on July 4th.

‘Monuments’ is available June 9th via Dangerbird Records.

– Roisin Deady

Venue: Monuments
Support Band: Dangerbid

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