Excerpt: “… Although Now We’re Active is the band’s debut album, the general brain usage and song writing behind the project initially began in 2006. Umpire’s album has essentially been five years in the making, with a taster given via the 2009 released self titled EP, but news of a ten track record was naturally going to be intriguing. Now We’re Active defines Umpire’s style brilliantly in their ability on one album to present fast, complex guitar rhythms, typical of the math rock genre combined with slower, pleasing, melancholic sounds. These polarities can be seen from the tingling fade out of ‘Spotlights’ to the powerful guitar and drums in the first 10 seconds or so of ‘Jewellery Can Be Disturbing’, personally a highlight on the album…. Umpire have quoted one of their influences as ’90s alternative band Pavement, and this can definitely be heard throughout Now We’re Active, perhaps in the cool, slightly indifferent vocal style Symons and Pavement’s lead singer Stephen Malkmus both use. The abundance of the start and stop technique is seen often throughout the album – I read a review that believed this technique was over used by the band and this perhaps can be seen on ‘Corner An Owl In An Alcove’ although this is actually one of my favourite songs on the album…. I am going to ambush the opportunity to roll out the much used phrases ‘lump in the throat’ and ‘hairs on the back of the neck standing up’ – they can be accurate but just kinda suck, so I am going to nimbly skirt the edges of the cliché minefield as best I can. All I can say is the fading end seconds of ‘Cyclones Into Sunshowers’ definitely leave you with a bit of a tingly feeling.'”
Hidden Shoal MixTape
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