Excerpt: “Since formation as a studio-based trio back in 2006, Perth’s Umpire have honed their sound over a couple of EPs, added a drummer and released their debut album Now We’re Active. They make self-described ‘wide-screen indie rock’ and both their sound and choice of titles perpetuates this sense of vast open spaces. The Canyon typifies this sound; gently building guitar and drum lines unfurl around Geoff Symon’s vocals, which in turn conjures thick, bass-driven riffs. While full of crescendos and sudden drop-offs, the band inhabit, rather than dominate the soundscapes they create. Restrained production and performance give the record’s quieter moments clarity and definition, and when the sound does expand to fill the space they’ve created, the marked contrast is satisfying both texturally and sonically. Opening single Green Light District sees this approach close to perfected as sparse drum-powered verses emerge into choruses overflowing with vocal harmonies and rippling guitar lines…. Indeed, more than anything, it hints at what the Umpire live performance may sound like and – importantly – should spark a desire in the listener to go and find out.”
Hidden Shoal MixTape
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