Tuesday at 2:46 AM | Posted by Man_with_a_Plan
"For a long time now I've been pissed off with the whole idea of an "album." This is cos I convinced myself that ultimately there're only songs - or, if not songs exactly, tracks. Everything else (bands, albums, videos, EPs, etc. etc.) is just some kind of contrived music industry bollocks that we've been landed with after decades of rapacious development. But, every now and again, a collection of tracks comes along and I have to think again. What I'm saying is that in the case of Umber the old cliche of the whole being bigger than the sum of its parts definitely does hold true. Even the sequencing is perfect. Peaks and troughs, elongated stretches of tension and release, hush and crash - all these contradictions and their accompanying resolutions are here, and weigh up to create a perfectly balanced whole.
If you’re wondering about their sound and the targets Bitch Magnet are shooting for on Umber, the first thing to say is that it’s a little more considered than Star Booty (the preceding 12” EP). Although that release was in no sense sloppy, Umber is incredibly precise. Intros crunch in and at some prearranged signal, stop dead – only to explode moments later into a series of staggered riffs or a chain of distorted, cleverly inverted chords. And so the emphasis is very much on dynamics – not melodies, submerged or otherwise. There's certainly an Albini (i.e. Rape Man) influence here. But Bitch Magnet's approach is less oblique. I'd say it's more melodic but that word seems way out of place here, so let's just say it's more direct and expressive - but also more subtle."