January 31, 2009

Umphrey's McGee: Mantis

Umphrey's McGee
photo: Mark Blanchette

With each new album Umphrey's McGee continues its journey to become a proper prog rock band. For their new album album Mantis they locked themselves in into the studio composing a complete new set of material that wasn't worked up on stage. The songs are hence more "composed" and a bit sterile. Keyboard player Joel Cummins comes a bit close to channeling Tony Banks circa ... and Then There Where Three when Genesis was on the way down. As per usual the twin guitars of Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger dominate the feel of the album, which despite all its prog rock inclinations in tracks like 1348 and the title track Mantis can turn into McCartney flavored pop without warning (Made To Measure).

Don't get worked up about Keller Williams' contribution to Preamble - it is a less than a minute ditty and should have been shelved for a later Deluxe Edition with a couple of outtakes no one really wants to hear.

The Chicago sextet thrives in a live setting and it will be worth keeping track of the "in concert" outings of the new tracks. The result of Cemetery Walk, which they debuted on the night before the release, was quite satisfactory.

Umphrey's McGee:
Brendan Bayliss: guitar, vocals
Joel Cummins: keyboards, vocals
Ryan Stasik: bass guitar
Jake Cinninger: guitar, vocals
Kris Myers: drums, vocals
Andy Farag: percussion

Umphrey's McGee: Mantis

Mantis is released on SCI Fidelity. When inserted into you computer you get access to extra stuff. A 16 page booklet for now, which is a very green thing to do as long as you don't print it.

Tracks:
  1. Made to Measure
  2. Preamble
  3. Mantis
  4. Cemetery Walk
  5. Cemetery Walk II
  6. Turn & Run
  7. Spires
  8. Prophecy Now
  9. Red Tape
  10. 1348
Live dates:
  • 02/01 First Avenue Minneapolis, Minnesota
  • 02/12 Barrymore Theatre Madison, Wisconsin
  • 02/13 Barrymore Theatre Madison, Wisconsin
  • 02/14 Barrymore Theatre Madison, Wisconsin
  • 02/15 Barrymore Theatre Madison, Wisconsin
  • 02/19 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, Georgia
  • 02/20 Variety Playhouse Atlanta, Georgia
  • 02/21 The Orange Peel Asheville, NC
  • 02/22 Neighborhood Theatre Charlotte, NC
  • 03/04 Workplay Soundstage Birmingham, AL
  • 03/05 Workplay Soundstage Birmingham, AL
  • 03/06 Langerado Music Festival Miami, Florida
  • 03/12 Royal Oak Music Theatre Royal Oak, Michigan
  • 03/13 Egyptian Room Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 03/14 Egyptian Room Indianapolis, Indiana
  • 03/25 Cain’s Ballroom Tulsa, Oklahoma
  • 03/26 Liberty Hall Lawrence, Kansas
  • 03/27 The Pageant St. Louis, Missouri
  • 03/28 Minglewood Hall Memphis, TN
  • 04/01 Town Ballroom Buffalo, NY
  • 04/02 Grand Opera House Wilmington, Delaware
  • 04/03 Penn’s Peak Jim Thorpe, PA
  • 04/04 Ram’s Head Live! Baltimore, MD
  • 04/05 Toad’s Place (ACOUSTIC) New Haven, CT
  • 04/07 Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel Providence, RI
  • 04/08 Calvin Theatre Northampton, Massachusetts
  • 04/09 House of Blues Boston, Massachusetts
  • 04/10 Nokia Theatre Times Square New York, NY
  • 04/11 Nokia Theatre Times Square New York, NY
  • 04/16 Taft Theatre Cincinnati, OH
  • 04/17 Egyptian Theatre De Kalb, IL
  • 04/18 Morris Performing Arts Center South Bend, Indiana
  • 04/30 House of Blues New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 05/01 House of Blues New Orleans, Louisiana
  • 05/22 Summer Camp Chillicothe, IL
  • 05/23 Summer Camp Chillicothe, IL
  • 05/24 Summer Camp Chillicothe, IL
  • 07/22 10,000 Lakes Festival Detroit Lakes, Minnesota

» umphreys.com
» myspace.com/umphreysmcgee

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