Umphrey’s McGee Enter ‘Ripping, Guitar Solo Rock Band’ Mode for New Album
They’ve gained a reputation for being one of the more eclectic bands around, but for their latest record, Umphrey’s McGee honed in on the rock portion of their sound — and soon, fans will be able to hear the results of that newfound focus.
Due June 10, ‘Similar Skin’ doesn’t shortchange the irreverent humor and good-natured energy that’s powered the progressive rock band’s music since their cheekily titled 1998 debut, ‘Greatest Hits Vol. III,’ but it does dial back the musically loose-limbed approach of earlier efforts in favor of a more straightforward sound. As vocalist/guitarist Brendan Bayliss explained in an interview with Relix, “We’ve done the whole melting-pot album, where there’s a rock song, and then there’s a mellow acoustic song, and then there’s a prog thing — just bouncing all over the place. This time, we specifically went in with a song list where, genre-wise, it was all pretty much straight-ahead rock.”
“We wanted to make a cohesive statement,” added Bayliss in the ‘Similar Skin’ EPK (embedded above). What that means, according to drummer/vocalist Kris Myers, is “a lot of hook-driven melodies and raging guitar solos. No holds barred … just really, straight-up rock.” And if that isn’t enough to pique your interest, just listen to bassist Ryan Stasik, who added, “We actually blew my f—ing amp up. That’s what happens when you make a rock ‘n’ roll record: You blow your f—in’ bass amp up.”