Excerpt: “‘Green Light District’ kicks it all off with jangly but epic sweeping guitars-guitars that suddenly take off with abrasive but melodic washes, especially toward the end the vocals soar ala Wings-era McCartney. On “Supply Chins”, the now moody, distorted guitars rub against regretful but dreamy vocals-a psych pop masterpiece. Likewise, “Jewellery Can Be Disturbing” features brash guitars and fragile vocals. From the brilliant pop of “Streamers” to the noisy, memorable Milking a Thistle,” Umpire display a dizzying command of pop and rock melody, with slightly abstract lyrics that add to the depth of these seemingly simple tracks. The closer, “Cyclones Into Sunshowers, is a gorgeous and poetic song that is always grounded such that it never threatens to devolve into pathos. This debut by Umpire is mature, catchy and crunchy, with a poise and sense of the dramatic lacking in bands who have been around for years. “Now We’re Active” is a truly active record, by a band that has hit the ground running with a surge of insight and power.”
Hidden Shoal MixTape
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