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Umphrey's McGee - Local Band Does O.K. CD (album) cover


Umphrey's McGee

Crossover Prog

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5 stars A fine musical stew of blazing musicianship and goofy lyrics with a lot of Phish and Zappa influence. I'd like to say Umphrey's McGee is what you get when you mix Phish with some sort of tight progressive metal band and a 70's jazz fusion band . The album is tight,blistering and as hip as music can get. Not serious by any standards even the music doesn't sound serious mega chops and humor like Zappa but tighter than Zappa if thats possible . Every song is very strong and tight. Fill out with an equal dose of heavy metal riffs and cool jazz fusion . A rarity among music indeed. This album is to be treasured by all music eclectics. Keep in mind also their singing style doesn't fit with most prog . They have a goofy Phish like style . Like some goof, in his bedroom singing along with Frank Sinatra . Great music indeed.
Report this review (#45282)
Posted Friday, September 2, 2005 | Review Permalink
3 stars A fate that jam bands can many times have is one that with so much time and effort focused on large and epic live performances, actual studio albums can come to be rather lackluster in effort. Phish and the Dead are the most notorious for not sinking to this level, and less well known is Umphrey's McGee, a band rising more in popularity as more and more albums are released. Obviously taking after Phish, the band's second and more "official" album Local Band Does Okay is more or less an emulation of the 80's band. Bayliss recreate Trey Anastasio's relaxed playing style, which can shift suddenly depending on something abrupt like a tempo change. Cinninger's drumming is much akin to that of Jon Fishman, the very eclectic yet talented drummer of Phish. This works well with the plethora of percussion instruments that McGee has to work with, and luckily are used in their on ways and not played in one cacophony. Speaking of plethora, the number of instruments that McGee crams into each song is quite extraordinary, yet does cause a lack of cohesion between tracks, making for a song list that varies wildly from one to the other. This could be positive depending on how you want an album's structure to be- for me, I prefer a certain level of unity when one song transitions to another, but of course that's just me.

In summary this album is a step in the right direction, yet the orchestra of goofy instruments is not quite enough to differentiate Umphrey's McGee from Picture of Nectar-era Phish. As for someone who does like Phish and listens to them on a regular basis, this is not much more than retreading of the same ground that has already been beaten, and interesting variations already composed. Again though, the album does show some promise for the band's future. This local band did OK.

Report this review (#1568206)
Posted Friday, May 20, 2016 | Review Permalink

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