Umbilikal is a band that started off in Ljubljana, Slovenia and ended up in Mendoza, Argentina. They were founded in 2007 by Pablo Hirschegger and Domen Jaklič and not too much long after they were joined by Matjaž Simončič and Janez Valant.
The band worked for two years perfecting their craft before feeling like that could make a live appearance. (A practice I think is all too rare these days). They played a wide variety of places but it wasn’t until 2011 that they decided to record their debut self-titled album Umbilikal. It wasn't until the end of 2013 that the album got released. The same month the album was released also happened to be the month that Hirschegger decided to move back to Argentina where he would recruit new members Santiago Mosso (electric guitar), Lucas Soy (electric bass), Guillermo Puebla (drums) and Candela Amorós (back vocals). Ironically enough the new lineup practiced for years before they made a live performance.
Umbilikal is a professional sounding album that lies somewhere between rock and pop. Perhaps the most notable aspect of the music is that most of it doesn’t follow a 4/4 time signature and the prominent, complex bass parts are essential to the song. For those of you not aware most pop you hear on the radio is in 4/4 and the bass parts usually consist of nothing more then root notes.
Hirschegger is a good singer and he occasionally soars on this album. His delivery is smooth, warm and easy to enjoy. You can hear this on the very first song “Dentro,” which is fairly predictable but hits a number of high points. The song combines acoustic and electric guitars with success while the bass has some fine moments towards the end of the song.
“Equivocado” is certainly a solid song with inventive string parts. The funky bass is on point during this song. I was thoroughly impressed with the bass, drum and vocal breakdown. Another highlight was “Lluvia,” which starts off dreamy and relaxing and eventually builds with energy. During the chorus a consistent bass part is layered with white noise from the distortion that works very well.
Umbilikal is a strong album but not every song worked for me. Some of it sounded too much like something I would hear on FM radio here in the states. The band is at their best when they veer away from that and flaunt their technical skills into something their own. Overall, an enjoyable album.
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