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The Scarlet & Black

UME Brings the hard Pop

This Friday, Grinnell Concerts is bringing an electric combination: head-banging mosh-inducing and melodic Ume with opener, North America.

Ume, (pronounced ooo-may) combines Lauren Larson’s shredding guitar and edgy vocals with bassist Eric Larson and drummer Rachael Fuhrer. The band formed in Houston in 2006 and is bringing an unrestrained post-punk racket to a traditional indie-rock structure.

“I love to make music that is brutal and beautiful,” Larson said, “but I hate putting it into words.” And in fact she doesn’t have to.

Critics have acclaimed Ume’s work. Tom Tom magazine says, “It sounds dangerous and sexy like French kissing over an electric fence.” Relix says, “The group, led by powerhouse singer/guitarist Lauren Larson, has merged the sounds of heavy rock and ethereal indiepop with deft precision, finding new ground somewhere in between Warpaint, Metric and Mogwai”.

Their most recent release, “Phantoms,” was produced by Modern Outsider Records and debuted last August. Tim Plumley, the bands press manager says, “[‘Phantoms’] recalls a time when the band and kids in the crowd weren’t afraid to sweat, the album marries the heavier and more distorted side of indie rock with visceral passion and pop hooks”.

Indeed, Larson’s energetic shredding and wildly swinging blonde hair, combined with booming drums and bass which could level the foundations of a house, are sure to please Grinnell’s dance-friendly audience.

“We like to shatter expectations and try to hold nothing back on stage” says Larson, “whatever results on stage is visceral, honest and fun.”

Recently the band enjoyed performing with the likes of TV on the Radio, Cat Power, and the Flaming Lips at Kanrocksas and LouFest this summer. “Also playing for 10 people once in NYC and seeing [rock star] Joan Jett rocking out in the audience was amazing,” Larson said.

“Phantoms” develops Ume’s sounds. “It is more lyrically intimate than our other material and incorporates vocal harmonies and orchestral textures that are new to our sound,” Larson said. Ume is rough, raucous and rambunctious while keeping a tight sound, chockablock of reverb and driving drums.

Ume will be beautifully complemented by North America, comprised of Josh and Jesse Hasko. North America describes their music in a series of tags, “l.s.d. New York desert kitchen jams newage pastry makin’ music post-dance rock rofttop rock Albuquerque”.

North America will start the night with a lo-fi groove that will immerse the audience in a crazy sea of floating guitar riffs, kelp forest bass, and popping bubbles of drums.

Be sure to catch this weekend’s concert with Ume and North America for an out of this world music experience and crazy dance mash.

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    TP LangnerOct 28, 2011 at 11:10 am

    Witnessed Ume in St. Louis last night. Wow. Awesome!