Umphrey's McGee - You Walked Up Shaking In Your Boots But You Stood Tall And Left A Raging Bull

Posted: 010821

Review Erik Neuteboom

This USA formation was founded in 1997, one year later they produced their first album entitled Greatest Hits Vol. II, funny name for a debut album, haha. Then the band released 13 studio-albums between 2002 and now, their latest effort is from 2021, with another funny title, You Walked Up Shaking In Your Boots But You Stood Tall And Left A Raging Bull. After all those years (almost 25!) three original members are still active: Brendan Bayliss on  guitar, Joel Cummins on keyboards and Ryan Stasik on bass, completed with Jake Cinninger on guitar, keyboards, Kris Myers on drums and Andy Farag on percussion.

This new album contains 12 tracks (between 2 and 6 minutes), most deliver bombastic atmospheres and eruptions with awesome interplay (this band is experienced, talented and a tight unit), heavy work on the guitars, tasteful keyboard play (from tender piano runs and flashy synthesizer flights to soaring strings) and a splendid rhythm-section.

The tracks There's No Crying In Mexico and You Got The Wrong Guy feature a pretty surprising Georgio Moroder-like synthesizer sound (known  from the Donna Summer disco songs), blended with rock guitar, a nice musical idea.

Le Sac starts dreamy with wonderful piano, then a slow rhythm featuring sensitive guitar runs (reminding me of Focus and Camel), finally back to the dreamy piano, what a beautiful composition.

A touch of electronic music in Depth Charge (including captivating interplay between heavy guitar and sumptuous keyboards, backed by dynamic rhythm-section) and Nipple Trix (Vangelis comes to my mind, along heavy guitar and spectacular synthesizer flights).

And in the sumptuous Le Blitz the focus is on powerful duo-guitar work, I love it.

Altough at some moments the tracks sound more like studio jams than elaborate compositions I am pleased with the interesting musical ideas and skills of the musicians.