[ALBUM REVIEW] Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Sex & Food

Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Sex & Food
Release: 6th April 2018
Label: Jagjaguwar
Producers: Ruban Nielson
Singles: American Guilt, We’re Not In Love We’re Just High

Unknown Mortal Orchestra, the New Zealand psych-rock outfit fronted by Ruban Nielson, have continued to ascend atop the musical food chain, with a slurry of impressive releases, particularly their latest full length album Multi Love. In 2018 however, UMO is even hotter property, tiding stray Tame Impala fans over until Kevin Parker returns to the studio, and coaxing in fans further a field, with an indie twinged allure. In the two years since their last project, the world has changed a lot, and as is particularly represented with the project’s lead single, Neilson says the next UMO album is a representative of this.

As could have been envisioned with American Guilt, Sex & Food on more than one occasion departs from a radio-friendly sunset-primed psych sound, in exchange for all-out blues or noise rock. This is best encapsulated by album opener Major League Chemicals, a rough and distorted punch of blues, teeming with lo-fi production. Elsewhere on the album, the silky smooth Hunnybee stays true to its title with a floaty chill of jazz and R&B, as does the sultry hypnosis of The Internet of Love. How Many Zeros recalls elements of disco, as if an abstract version of the Bee Gees have been strained through a psychedelic sieve.

Sex & Food is another impressive outing from Unknown Mortal Orchestra. The album’s title is indicative, and a good representative of the project, with steamy bedroom-ready moments sat alongside punchy blues-infused outings. Neilson’s often non-linear song composition, enticing hushed vocal performances, sexy instrumentation, and flirtations with genres beyond psychedelic rock, make for a solid fourth project, one that solidifies the band’s deserved rise to the top.

Verdict – WWWV

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