Posted on 2/11/2013
Unknown Mortal Orchestra
The second record from psychedelic groove-rockers Unknown Mortal Orchestra, titled II, finds the band moving into a more introspective and progressive sound from their stellar self-titled debut album in 2011, an album that showcased the band’s ability to churn out hazy grooves and catchy melodies drenched in a sea of reverb. Since their initial introduction into the indiesphere with their highly acclaimed first single “Ffunny Ffriends”, UMO have transformed into a band that is just as comfortable exploring the sonics of psychedelia as they are delving into dark lyrical material, and the new record shows they can combine the two without losing any of the listenability of their first album.
A theme of social alienation consists throughout the record, from the dark murky single “Swim and Sleep”, an exploration into the exhaustion of living, to the punky stomper “No Need For a Leader”, a song lyrically based around anarchy as utopia. Although II offers a heavier load of lyricism than it’s predecessor, the album loses none of the catchiness and groove of the debut, much of the vibe being rekindled on the sunny haze of “Faded In the Morning” or the laid-back pocket of lead track “From the Sun”.
Although the follow-up may not be as immediately satisfying as the debut, repeated listens prove this record to show a great deal of progression for the band as well as a much more succinct dexterity of sounds, rhythm, and groove. For fans of early Pink Floyd, Grizzly Bear or Foxygen, the newest record from UMO is a must-listen.
Written by Andy Engstrom, Radio K volunteer.
Tags: Unknown Mortal Orchestra II weekly release spotlight