“II” by Unknown Mortal Orchestra

February 05. 2013 | By Sean Morris


Unknown Mortal Orchestra

A thick layer of dust (or is it smoke?) blankets Unknown Mortal Orchestra II. The garage funk trio transports us to a not-so-unbelievable future where they are considered classic rock. UMO expands upon the peaks of their solid 2011 debut with winning results. The recording revels in clarity even as it insists on sounding like stoned age vinyl.

“So Good At Being In Trouble” laces us with an insta-sing-along chorus and more husky bass than we know what to do with. Ruban Nielson’s multi-faceted guitar work shines, wah-wah-ing through the elastic “One At A Time” and out-caterwauling Nielson’s own vocals on the addled boogie of “Faded In The Morning.” “The Opposite of Afternoon” is pure southern-fried sizzle. “No Need For A Leader” is the soundtrack to a greaser racing a tornado down a desert highway, while the pensive “Monki” takes the supergalactic scenic route.

With lyrics like “isolation can put a gun in your hand” and “I’m only lonely through the night,” it looks like we have another superlative nĂ¼-psychedelic ode to solitude on our hands. II is a musical muscle relaxer; anxiety cannot thrive while this album is playing.

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