Umphrey's McGee - Anchor Drops

Year of Release: 2004
Label: Hanging Brains Music/Sci-Fidelity
Catalog Number: UM0006
Format: CD
Total Time: 64:41:00

The moment a prestigious magazine such as Rolling Stone Magazine describes you with the words "A Band to Watch," then you can rest assured that they have discovered a small masterpiece. Due to the fact that several different styles have been fused together, we tend to label the music as being progressive, yet instead of deliberately going for that explanation I?d rather grab a band such as Phish or Grateful Dead to describe what?s on offer here. If you take a band like Phish, these guys were able to settle within the mainstream without having to carry the heavy burden of the prog label. With the title track "Anchor Drops", Umphrey?s McGee delivers kind of a lounge music on top of which they pour a decent load of bluesy licks. Not one tiny second do you have to fear overproduction, whilst the structure of the songs can best be compared with the solitary excellence of Steely Dan complemented with the weird chimeras of Frank Zappa. Their mix of metal, pop, prog, psychedelic, South-American, jazz, country (as in the acoustic "Bullhead City") and a lot of improvisation delivers a whirling, varied album turning Anchor Drops into a fantastic and pleasant album. By embanking the solos and scaling down to the nucleus of the song, the album has become a collection of true songs, also opening the world of Echolyn at times. During the funky "The Pequod" I wouldn?t mind being treated to a royal dose of authentic horns in order to spice it all up a little more.

With an average of 160 concerts a year, this band is thoroughly experienced. In one single medley they are able to evolve from M?tley Cr?e?s "Dr. Feelgood" to the main theme from Super Mario Brothers. Short teasers from the Led Zeppelin, Van Halen and Jimi Hendrix camp regulary pop up as well, as integral executions of music from the likes of John Scofield, Billy Joel or even Snoop Doggy Dog. In the past they worked their way around "XYZ" by Rush, "Senor Mouse" by Chick Corea, "So What" by Miles Davis, "White Wedding" by Billy Idol, "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath, "Africa" by Toto, as well as "Heart And Soul" by Huey Lewis and the News. So how about that for variation? Every single concert is different due to the large amount of improvisation. Thanks to the band?s taping policy, you are able to download tons of live recordings. Just visit where you can listen to clips from their mindblowing catalogue of no less than 105 bootlegs! A band which dares to perform Phish?s "Mike?s Song" next to Medeski, Martin and Wood?s "Bubblehouse" surely has to be made from the right stuff. If they had been around when the original Woodstock happened, no doubt they would have been the most important band on stage. Go and check them out, go wild and become a fan for life!

This is the first Umphrey?s McGee album on Inside Out. Let?s hope the label will soon re-issue the band?s entire catalogue soon as apart from the 105 bootlegs mentioned, Anchor Drops is already the band?s fifth album.

Also released by InsideOut (IOMCD 199) in 2005

Plunger (6:01) / Uncommon (2:51) / Jajunk Pt I (3:19) / 13 Days (4:27) / Jajunk Pt II (3:44) / Walletsworth (4:37) / Anchor Drops (4:59) / In The Kitchen (3:59) / Bullhead City (4:31) / Miss Tinkle?s Overture (5:37) / Robot World (5:00) / Mulche?s Odyssey (4:58) / Wife Soup (7:43) / The Pequod (2:55)

Brendan Bayliss - guitar, vocals
Jake Cinninger - guitar, Moog, synthesizer, vocals
Joel Cummings - keyboards, vocals
Andy Farag - percussion
Kris Myers - drums, vocals
Ryan Stasik - bass

Greatest Hits Volume III (1998)
Songs For Older Women (1998)
One Fat Sucka (2000)
Local Band Does O.K. (2002)
Local Band Does Oklahoma (2003)
Anchor Drops (2004/2005)
Safety In Numbers (2006)
The Bottom Half (2007)
Live At The Murat (2007)

Genre: Jam Band

Origin US

Added: January 31st 2005
Reviewer: John "Bobo" Bollenberg

Artist website:
Hits: 890
Language: english


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