U M B R A is a predator soaked in doom and sludge but equally draped with essences of black metal, noise, stoner rock, and most likely any other voracious flavour you can imagine. It is also one of the most primal and inventively addictive things heard so far in 2015. The new carnivorous proposition from US band Unmothered, the three track EP proposition brawls through ears, violates the senses, and scars the psyche from start to finish, all the time igniting the passions with its fierce turbulence. There is no escape once it takes hold but no desire to flee its uncompromising trespass either.
Starting their raucous prowl of the senses in 2010, the Austin hailing Unmothered unleashed their self-titled debut EP vinyl in 2012 to acclaiming responses across the underground scene. It brought seven atmospherically ravenous and physically cavernous landscapes to feast on the senses, laying the seeds for the even darker and in many ways more intimate intrusions to be found within the insidious temptation of U M B R A.
As its predecessor, the EP is wrapped in the artwork of UK artist Andrew Sloan, its dark toning and organic imagery a first glimpse of the creative tapestry and sonic exploration set to seduce ears and beyond. Opener Magnetar rubs ears with a lone riff to begin within but swiftly revolves and broadens into a predatory canter of imposing rhythms from drummer Matt Moulis and dark throaty bait courtesy of Joseph Barnes’ bass, both entwined in the just as gripping sonic tenacity of guitarist Matt Walker. Alone each sculpts pure drama but together they make aural pestilence whilst additionally conjuring a groove which no matter where it leads or what it twists itself into, is an unrelenting seducing within the carnal ambience and textures around it. The pestilential tones of Walker’s vocals crawl into the psyche too as they hitch a ride on the increasingly contagious grooving and tsunami like hostility swinging its way to the same destination.
If the swagger of the first song is incendiary and contagious, it is light weight compared to that of Scarp and before it Huntress. The second song scythes through ears on a sonic lure before thickening its bait within a musty swamp of noise. It is only building towards the point of greater addictive enterprise though, another flaming acidic groove with a waspish nature flirting within ears as guitars and drums spin a magnetic enslaving web. Equipped with gnarly bass tones which simply inflame the senses, the song offers whispers of bands like Ministry and Morkobot, though equally you would suggest Unsane or a Today is the Day, as many do, as a hint to the ravaging being enjoyed. The track is irresistible, a disembowelling of the senses with riveting rewards in return but quickly over shadowed by the final song.
Scarp from its first breath is a torrent of sonic nagging, Walker’s guitar a primal bee in the psyche which is rapidly matched in primeval temptation by the roguish swipes of Moulis and the throaty dissent of bass. A rhythmic and sonic virulence does not let up even as the raw tones of Walker spill their new narrative of aggression and his guitar skirts over the Killing Joke like rhythmic spine with its caustic and corrosive enterprise. A post rock like calm embraces ears midway through to wrong-foot and bewitch, the drums continuing to roll out a mouth-watering and unrelenting niggle of anthemic beats throughout. It is a mesmeric and meditative passage yet in its air, lurking in the shadows there is an intimidation and menace which bides its time before exploding in one hellacious climax of one outstanding incitement.
The track is a brilliant; a gripping end to a glorious slab of noise fuelled contagion posing as U M B R A. Letting greed have its say there is no doubting that the EP is over too soon but with the adage ‘leave them wanting more’ surely in its thoughts, U M B R A and Unmothered have opened up a vat of anticipation for something bigger and you suspect even more threateningly bolder.
U M B R A is available from May 26th via Crowquill Records. For details see http://crowquillrecords.limitedrun.com/artists/unmothered
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