Mantis (2009) If your idea of a jam band is a posse of unwashed hippies reworking tropes from the Dead and the Allmans, you need to hear… 2009-01-20 Andrew Bird Rock
Music Review

Mantis (2009)

We're Jammin': Umphrey's McGee
We're Jammin': Umphrey's McGee
EW's GRADE
B

Details Release Date: Jan 20, 2009; Lead Performance: Andrew Bird; Genre: Rock

If your idea of a jam band is a posse of unwashed hippies reworking tropes from the Dead and the Allmans, you need to hear Mantis, the eighth album from this Chicago-based sextet. Umphrey's McGee stand revealed as consummate musical alchemists, deftly reconfiguring sounds from rock's vast panoply of styles, and evoking bands as diverse as Steely Dan, Metallica, XTC, Rush, and the Beach Boys without sounding like copycats. This bunch aren't just flaunting their impressive chops because they can; the sleekly constructed tunes (no noodling here) sparkle with a sweetness and soul that's more than the sum of their influences. B+

Download This: Keep checking the band's official site for updates on the new album

Originally posted Jan 14, 2009 Published in issue #1031 Jan 23, 2009 Order article reprints