I’m an asshole at gigs. Occasionally I fall into the trap of believing I know what I’m talking about, so I asked a friend at this show before this band took to the stage “Are they shite?”. He told me they weren’t and that the singer was really good. I took it with a bit of a pinch of salt.
Which turned out to be a totally unnecessary use of condiments because Ursa Mae were not shite. They were really good and in fact had 3 really strong voices in the band. Which is an average of 3 more good voices than the average band. It’s almost greedy when you think about it.
Distinct voices being utilised in music sounds better than a single voice and it adds a lot of depth to Ursa Mae’s post-hardcore racket. It’s a sound that’s heavier on the melody than it is on….the heavy. Their melodic moments are rich and lush and a lot more mature than many of their peers. But fans of terrible pit dancing need not fear, there’s still more than a few moments of muscular riffing and guttural vocals.
The piano lead ballad “Monsters” was an interesting diversion from the up-tempo nature of the rest of their set. It seems like an experiment that probably pays off more on record than it does live if I’m honest. Losing your good natured, but confrontational, front man to the back of the stage to play the keys does kill the dynamic somewhat.
That being said, the number of lighters in the air was pretty cool. It sounds kinda lame, but it wasn’t.
Ursa Mae don’t come across as the finished deal quite yet, they never seem to sure if they’re invested in being brutal or accessible, but a little fine tuning could see some seriously good song-writing from a group of musicians as talented as this.
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