Harnessing the energy and essence of a band’s live show is one of the toughest things to achieve in the studio and Texans Ume, as seen on tour with Helmet, Smashing Pumpkins and Kylesa, are quite different on disc. Their debut, Phantoms, which wasn’t released over here, was a straight-up indie affair but Monuments is an album of many parts that showcases a diverse set of influences.
Combining Kylesa’s haunting atmospheres with the psychedelic fuzz of Californians Warpaint, Ume embrace a multitude of contrasting styles.
There are QOTSA-style stoner riffs on the beefy opener Black Stone and essence of Coral Fang-era Distillers on Embrace, not to mention a whiff of grunge on the likes of Until The End. There’s even a touch of The Velvet Underground on the off-kilter shoegaze of Barophobia and Gleam.
Produced by Adam Kaspar (QOTSA), Monuments is challenging and perhaps a little too varied for some, making it feel more like two disparate albums.