Unknown Mortal Orchestra Critics' Faves Of The Year
Unknown Mortal Orchestra's album and latest video Bicycle have been collecting media accolades around the world on the eve of the group's debut shows in New Zealand this week.
UMO's self-titled album was recorded at home by Ruban Neilson in Portland, Oregon, and has been toured relentlessly by his group around the world over the past ten months.
The album was this week named number 34 in the year's best list in NME and number 50 in Uncut. UK magazine The Fly has already ranked the album number 21 in its year-end poll.
Influential website Pitchfork listed it in July as one of the year's twenty best "overlooked records", saying Unknown Mortal Orchestra turned funk grooves upside down "in the name of singular pop songwriting that's deliciously quirky".
NME's critics poll cited the album as "one of the most unexpected contenders for album of the year... as accessible as it was trippy."
Reviewing Unknown Mortal Orchestra's recent London show in the same issue, NME raved, calling Neilson a guitarist who "psych-shreds", "crunch-shreds", "super-shreds" and "speed-shreds" through the set, creating a sound that is "vast, bluesy and with bigger balls than a big sexy ox."
UMO this week debuted their 'Bicycle' music video on US site Spin, which hyped the "debaucherous" clip, saying it "stars a thrill-seeking blonde (model Sarah Dumont) who enjoys shoplifting in the convenience store, smashing things with a lead pipe, blowing up Twinkies, and countless traffic violations ... It's like Rihanna's We Found Love video, minus the MDMA but with a lot more criminal activity."
Unknown Mortal Orchestra arrived downunder this week for headline shows and festivals including Homebake, Meredith and Falls in Australia and the Auckland Big Day Out - a show where Neilson's previous band The Mint Chicks have already set the benchmark for confrontational brilliance, taking a chainsaw to sponsor's staging in one legendary performance.
Friday 16 December
San Francisco Bath House, Wellington
Saturday 17 December
The King's Arms, Auckland