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Album Review: Monuments by UME

UME give Monuments its UK release on the 9th of June, an impassioned heavy rock album it’s a formidable way to announce themselves to UK audiences. The album re-imagines hard rock, adding a frailty to the big churning heavy riffs – whilst it’s crushingly heavy it’s also full of pop hooks.

UME (pronounced “ooo-may”) is rather better known to American audiences, back in their homeland Monuments was released last year and they already had their critically acclaimed debut Phantoms under their belts. It puts Alt Dialogue in the rather curious position on how to see Monuments, for any UK based readers it’s technically a debut album and your first opportunity to hear the band, essentially though it’s their sophomore album and it’d be unfair to judge it as anything else.

With that out of the way, what you do have is a decent rock album. It ticks several boxes in having mass appeal and style. The female led vocal from Lauren Larson is the band’s greatest strength, the imaginative and driving drumming of Rachel Fuhrer isn’t far behind, but unfortunately there’s not much else to scream and dance about.

You’ll probably read quite a lot about the impassioned vocals and crushingly heavy guitar riffs creating a furious blend of hard rock and catchy lyrics. To a certain extent that won’t be far off the mark, but it only works well for a couple of songs at a time before becoming stale.

Taken on their own ‘Black Stone’, ‘Too Big World’ and ‘Until The End’ are great tunes, but they end up blurring into the rest and you’ll find your mind wondering. Monuments’ biggest fault is that it’s nothing new or exciting. It’s bland middle of the road hard rock.

On the upside, its middle of the road hard rock executed with aplomb. It will undoubtedly be very popular and all things considered it’s not a bad record. ‘Gleam’, ‘Barricade’ and album closer ‘Reason’ are the highlights from the second half of the record and well worth a listen.

Monuments is a decent album, some good guitar parts and a good vocal. Unfortunately it all just turns out to be a substandard Blood Red Shoes tribute.


AD Rating 5/10


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