Umphrey’s McGee: Similar Skin

Rob Slater on June 9, 2014

It’s ironic that a bunch of guys who grew up worshipping Michael Jordan’s Chicago Bulls would make a record that their rival Detroit Pistons (nicknamed “The Bad Boys”) would have loved. That’s what Umphrey’s McGee have here with their eighth studio album. A heavy, unapologetic, rock-and-roll exhibition from start to finish that will have speakers everywhere trembling in fear for what is the Chicago sextet’s strongest work to date. While the Similar Skin numbers may be familiar to most UM fans, one shouldn’t assume that they were recorded exactly as their onstage counterparts. Whether it’s the prog rock-tinged “Cut The Cable,” the guitar theatrics on “Hourglass” or the additional lyrics to the album’s most delicate tune “No Diablo,” it is clear, early on, that the band set out to craft a cohesive, thorough project to follow 2011’s Death By Stereo. In the world of laptops and indie-rock crooners, the art of the rock record seemed lost—until now. Kris Myers’ arena-rock drum takes, combined with the extraordinary guitar duo of Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger, make this full-throttle Umphrey’s McGee listening experience one of the most savory, with something for everyone on each track.

Artist: Umphrey’s McGee
Album: Similar Skin
Label: Nothing Too Fancy