Album Review: Unknown Mortal Orchestra - II

7 February 2013 | 10:59 am | Tess Ingram

Just give it a while to marinate in those good ol’ juices of time.

More Unknown Mortal Orchestra More Unknown Mortal Orchestra

It hasn't been long since Unkown Mortal Orchestra's self-titled debut LP was unleashed from a cloud of mystery, leaving confused critics wondering where this blast from the past came from. Psychy hook laden tunes, namely lead single Ffunny Ffrends, impressed worldwide. And now, after close to two years of constant touring, changes in band members, management and label, UMO have returned with creatively named sophomore effort II.

UMO has enhanced and developed the blueprint laid out on the band's self-titled LP to create a sound that is simultaneously fresh and nostalgic. But before delving into the music, let's set something straight. While UMO and Tame Impala comparisons are fair, the bands are not one and the same. The attitude that each band takes to the '60s throwback allows for different results. While the Impala's harnesses aggression and mantra, UMO feels like a more carefully measured meandering. Evident in the dream-like pace of II, Nielson and co. float from laidback Monki, to the electro-infused tangent of Dawn and the tongue-in-cheek frivolity of Secret Xtians, making subtle nods to their influences from decades past.

The album also flirts with R&B, in the mesmerising So Good at Being in Trouble. Fit with a groove that keeps on giving and a line that you can't help but repeating until everything stops and fades away, the track is somehow both heartbreaking and sexy. The constant fuzz and distortion on the album can be a little distracting at first but after a couple of listens it becomes hard to imagine it any other way. Full of '60s charm, yet remaining relevant to modern music, II is an almost classic. Just give it a while to marinate in those good ol' juices of time.