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The sound will kill you

Submitted by Elizabeth Armstrong on October 3, 2011 – 6:33 pmOne Comment

Jam band Umphrey’s McGee kicked off their fifth studio album “Death By Stereo,” Sept. 13.

Umphrey’s McGee was formed at Notre Dame University in the 1990’s by keyboardist Joel Cummins, drummer Mike Mirro, guitarist Brendan Bayliss, and bassist Ryan Stasik. The band was named after a cousin of Bayliss’. After becoming renowned in South Bend, Ind., they became more serious about their music. Most of them graduated with degrees in music, and tried to find ways to improve their music. Percussionist Andy Farag was later added to the band. Guitarist, Jake Cinninger joined the band in 2000. After becoming successful, drummer Mike Mirro left the band to go into the medical field. Kris Myers replaced Mirro. Myers got his masters degree in jazz drumming, and joined in 2003.

The first 15 seconds of “Miami Virtue,” the first track on “Death By Stereo” creates an idea in the listener’s head that the song is techno based. However, the acoustic drums break the chain, going into a rock beat. Ironically, the drums break into a techno style beat in the chorus. So, both techno and rock fans are satisfied.

“Domino Theory” contains catchy guitar riffs. Myers’ cowbell part is the lasting ingredient for the track. “Search 4,” the third track on the album can be seen as heavy but soft at the same time. About two minutes into in the song, Myers uses metal style drumming. The guitars are distorted mostly throughout the song, making it a grungier. As the song becomes milder, Stasik mildly grooves out on the bass.

The Fourth track, “Booth Love” takes a turn in a different direction. R&B and a hint of Disco takes over. This song contains various horns and funky guitar riffs. “The Floor” can be seen as an experimental song. The song is like a journey. The sounds change quite frequently. About halfway through the song, the band reaches its destination, making the song come more alive by Myers’ double bassing on his drum kit, and angrily smashing his cymbals, accompanied by Bayliss’ rebellious guitar riffs.

“Wellwishers” starts out with an electric piano, and a simple drumbeat, later accompanied by a bass section. “Dim Sun” is strictly acoustic guitar, with no given lyrics. “Deeper” is in the same category as “Love Booth”. However, “Deeper” has more bass, accompanied by violins and cellos. “Conduit” starts off with Myers’ basic beat. This song is heavily syncopated. About half way through the song, the guitars play Reggae type riffs. The last song on the track, “Hajimemashite” starts off with acoustic guitar picking, then breaking into a jam with the rest of the band. This album is definitely unique, and gives music lovers a variety of different types of music. Umphrey’s is pushing the limits.


One Comment »

  • Mason says:

    This group sounds like they have evolved into a great sound of modern music. They take a bit of the traditional and add techno sounds to it. Would like to hear them in person. Perhaps a live concert.????