Melodic Yet Fierce: The honest badassery of Ume’s Monuments

Ume Monuments

by Brittany Bartos

Two of the words that instantly come to mind when listening to the new Ume album are “honest” and “badass.” The songs have a sense of freedom about them – and that’s definitely something to like. The sound on the album is a mix of heavy and soft. Heavy in the sense that the rolling and rumbling bass riffs and the pounding drums keep the album grounded and deep, but the up-tempo guitar licks and Lauren Larson’s melodic yet fierce vocals lift the band’s sound up and let them stand apart from many of the other female-led power rock bands in the scene at the moment. Sometimes Lauren croons, other times she screams. Sometimes she whispers, and sometimes she belts it out. Her voice is dark and earthy and sexy and ethereal all at the same time.


Ume has been making their way to the fore-front of the Austin music scene in the past year or so, and one can easily see why. Their live show is said to be one of the most impressive and powerful sets in the city, they were a fan-favorite to see at Fun Fun Fun Fest in 2012, and they’ve had time to work on really honing in their sound with Monuments as their 3rd full length album, released earlier last month. This record is much more polished than the previous ones, with Adam Kasper producing (he also produced albums by both Soundgarden and Queens of the Stone Age). One of my favorite tracks on the record would have to be “Chase it Down,” due to the epic head-nodding the sound induces. Another notable track is “Gleam,” a softer, more emotional track written for Esme Barrera, notable music-loving Austinite and Waterloo Records employee who was murdered at the time Ume had started working on this album.

Ume can definitely rock, and they can also play a ballad than could bring a grown man to tears. Lauren leads the band with her impressive vocals and her badass guitar playing – at the same time. The album and the live show both show the passion and drive of the band. Make sure to check them out sometime soon.