Excerpt: “Perth has had a strong history of Pop bands…. The latest in the pop lineage is Umpire whose members have history in bands such as Adam said Galore, O, Mukaizake and they’ve just released their debut album “Now We’re Active” on Hidden Shoal. The album contains all the trademarks of a good pop release with a major factor in it’s sound is the crystal clear production of bassist Simon Struthers work at Forensic Audio. Strong melodies, darting in guitars, strong hooks and enough grit to provide an enjoyable listen…. The label press release that comes with the promo I received mentions that the band “formed in 2006 as a studio songwriting and recording project where … opportunity to utilise the studio as an instrument, developing their songs without the pressures of playing as a live band”. Normally you see such references of the studio as an instrument in electronic/experimental music, but it suits Umpire as you can see they have put a lot of thought into the music and how it sounds. The highlight track for me (pretty much liking it the first time I heard it on RTR) is “The Canyon”. It’s opening line could be the mantra of this blog especially when it comes to me reviewing: “I can’t articulate all these thoughts zigzagging through my head, there’s no exit” covers all the ground I mentioned above and is a mini epic clocking in at 5:19 and being the longest track on the album…. “Green Light District”, the lead out single which can be picked up for free here has a very summery and fresh sound reminding me of The Go-betweens, not musically but in that care free feel that they had on songs like “Spring Rain”.