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CD Feature/ Umphreys McGee: "Mantis"

img  Tobias

At long last, thank God, Umphreys have finally grown up to become what all jam bands are supposed to become, on paper at least: an intensely fascinating progressive-rock conglomerate. J

eez, what a dreary slog it was for any non-Dead-fan like myself to feign the discovery of must-hear-ism in their prior workaday attempts at getting hairy-leg chicks to say why not – the thought that these guys would ever give Particle (or even, what the hey, Yes) a run for their money seemed as crazy as the thought of Dakota Fanning blossoming into someone do-able. Miracles do happen, though, when the rent comes due and visions of Lame Record Contracts Yet To Come raise their head-lopping swords, and thus Umphreys has decided to swim and not sink. This ain’t no hophead ball, nothing too Phishy – the title track is an animated but orchestrally huge 70s dirge, remindful at different times of Minus the Bear, ELP, Chicago and Joe Satriani, the latter being the closest comparison here and wherever else the guitar starts doodling.

“Made to Measure” begins as a Jack Johnson piano slink before eventually soaring into Pink Floyd airspace. What took you guys so long?

By Eric Saeger

Homepage: Umphreys McGee
Homepage: Sci Fidelity Records

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