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II by Unknown Mortal Orchestra
2 reviews. Write a review for us »
8/10 Brian 01 February 2013

I'm the only person in this office who doesn't seem to like Tame Impala all that much, these fellow antipodeans are more my bag. Although they appear to plough a similar furrow of hazy psychedelic pop, Unknown Mortal Orchestra seem to be the more lo-fi, interesting proposition. That could start a war, eh? I'm all up for a fight. I don't think this is as immediate as their debut which came crashing into our office a couple of years back with its unusual sleeve design but I reckon after four or five listens it is easily as good, a bit darker and more insular in places maybe.

I think they reference a lot of the more laid-back American artists from the late ‘60s and certainly the early-mid seventies that I'm less familiar with. To me the ‘70s means either Slade or Siouxsie and the Banshees. It is the decade I was born, the decade I'd rather forget. However, there's many cracking songs on here and a couple of less cracking ones. Some tunes here were bred for the radio, even with their murky worn-tape demeanour eschewing the widescreen, auto-tune production qualities of most contemporary pop music. I think that's why I like them, they sound more like a fave pair of groovy slippers rather than a swish pair of new album chart-shagging brogues.

Psychedelic pop with a warm, homely rustic edge from a band that straddle the US/NZ divide with aplomb. These tunes will seep under your skin with their ace riffs and fuzzy licks, funky bass strides and cool seductive vocal harmonies. The drums sound great too, under that layer of sonic grime they provide a suitably itchy backdrop. Love the sleeve for this album a great deal, it represents the free feel of the music much more than that android architecture on the first volume...earthy retro rock with heart and soul.

8/10 Esmae Customer rating (no review), 17th February 2016


  • II by Unknown Mortal Orchestra


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