IN YOUR EARS: Unknown Mortal Orchestra

by Colin Pepper


Unknown Mortal Orchestra is like a great white shark without the insecurities or power trips of other lo-fi bands. Swimming through the scene, with absolute awareness of their skill, yet without an attitude about it. Dipping into the 60’s like so many bands out there today (see Tame Impala, Foxygen, Mac DeMarco) they distinguish themselves with a laser-like use of guitar distortion and reverb that seeks out the essential hipster vibe, and execute with effortless precision. And I mean “hipster-vibe,” endearingly.

Their sophomore album capitalizes on singer/guitarist Ruban Nielson’s ability to blend almost medieval lute-like licks and psychedelic twangs while toning down the abrasive distortion of their debut. Mix in his confidently refined vocals with a few grooves compliments of Jake Portrait and Riley Geare’s R&B percussion that keeps up without stealing the show and what do you get? A shark so confident its like it’s swimming with laser beams attached to its frick’n head.

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