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Death By Stereo


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Vinyl, September 13, 2011
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Amazon's Umphrey's McGee Store

Music

Image of album by Umphrey's McGee

Photos

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Biography

Since forming on the campus of Notre Dame in South Bend, IN, a little more than 16 years ago, Umphrey’s McGee—guitarist/vocalists Brendan Bayliss and Jake Cinninger, keyboardist/vocalist Joel Cummins, bassist Ryan Staslik, drummer/ vocalist Kris Myers and percussionist Andy Farag—has gone on to perform over 100 concerts annually, releasing seven studio albums and selling more ... Read more in Amazon's Umphrey's McGee Store

Visit Amazon's Umphrey's McGee Store
for 8 albums, 6 photos, and 2 full streaming songs.

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Frequently Bought Together

Death By Stereo + Mantis + Anchor Drops
Price for all three: $40.29

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Product Details

  • Vinyl (September 13, 2011)
  • Original Release Date: 2014
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: ATO RECORDS / RED
  • ASIN: B005E7AO6O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #8,801 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Chicago-based Umphrey's McGee returns this fall with a new studio album, Death By Stereo, available on 9/13 via ATO Records. Over the past 13 years, the group has built a rabid fan base through endless touring and more than 120 shows a year. They have released 11 albums, nearly every live show for 6+ years and sold more than 1.5 million digital tracks. Death By Stereo is the much-anticipated followup album to their critically-acclaimed 2009 studio release Mantis, which was praised in top outlets like Rolling Stone, The New York Times and The Washington Post. Mantis included a groundbreaking pre-order campaign, which sold over 8000 units in the first week and debuted at #62 on the Billboard chart.

Death By Stereo is a hybrid of what makes Umphrey's McGee so appealing to a wide spectrum of music fans. Filled with a healthy combination of focused, hard-hitting rock songs & head bobbing, groove-driven tracks, the record has something for everybody. The new album features a smattering of road-tested fan favorites as well as some of the slickest, unreleased compositions the band has released to date.

Umphrey's McGee's constantly evolving sound channels a wide spectrum of influences while still preselVing their distinct voice through crafty songwriting. With a massive repertoire of originals and note-perlect covers, their live shows are like flipping through the presets on your radio dial. Their A.DD. approach to ''progressive improvisation'' utilizes a set of Zappa-inspired hand signals allowing them to orchestrate their melodic creations on the fly.

Customer Reviews

I'd give it five stars except I didn't quite "get" every song, so four stars. ****
Keith
That all changed with their previous release "Mantis" which to my ears was a progressive rock masterpiece and by far the band's best studio effort.
Steven Sly
This album is now the Umphrey's album I can confidently hand to any non fan, or someone who wants to know more about them.
Gerber8or

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Eric A. Stanley on September 24, 2011
Format: Audio CD
Yes, I understand Umphrey's McGee is a predominantly live band and thus their albums should be critiqued with a grain of salt. Unfortunately for me I live in an area of the country where the band rarely visits, so all i am left with is their live recordings and albums to fuel my personal mental concerts on my drive home from work.

What has left me and my friends disappointed with their previously released albums is that their first 2 were so darn good. Local Band Does OK and Anchor Drops are both infinitely listenable monsters where every track simply kicks a$$ and creates a great listening experience. The quality of songwriting on those two albums set the bar so high that the albums that followed paled in comparison (although still quite good).

So how does Death By Stereo stack up? The new album combines some newly explored territory with older styles to create an interesting mix. Old school Umprheys and jam fans in general will like Track 3 - Search 4, Track 5 - The Floor, Track 9 - Conduit (what do constellations and candied yams have to do with one another?), and Track 10 - Hajimeshite. Umph works some good studio magic on a few other tracks that will get your whiteboy toes tapping and head grooving, such as Track 1 - Miami Virtue and the P-funkesque Track 4 - Booth Love.

In Summary - One notch below Anchor Drops and Local Band, but albums like those only come along a few times in a bands career so this album is still amazing.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By C on February 25, 2012
Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
I wish Amazon's star system had half stars, because I would definitely give this one a 3.5 - I just feel that 4 stars is pushing it.

UM is one of my favorite bands, hands down. Unfortunately, after seeing them 4 or 5 times in the 2 years leading up to this album, there were only 2 or 3 songs that I hadn't already heard before (and yeah, I purchase their live shows...) All the songs on this album are pretty good, but there are only two songs that I keep coming back to listen to album this for: The Floor and Hajimemashite. The rest are just decent UM songs, but seem somewhat forgettable.

I love all of the band's previous albums, and still listen to them quite often. Death By Stereo... not so much. Again, it's not a bad album. It's infinitely better than 99% of the rock music that is out today.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Great_Silence on March 19, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Wow, I can't believe all the glowing reviews for this album. Mantis, UM's previous album, is an absolute masterpiece and one of my top 5 favorite albums of all time. Now, I LOVE Umphrey's. They are one of my favorite bands, without question. However, I am not some fanboy who will blindly rave about everything my favorite bands produce. And let me tell ya, this album is crap.

I think the problem is twofold. First, as the Amazon product description so aptly asserts: "Death By Stereo is a hybrid of what makes Umphrey's McGee so appealing to a wide spectrum of music fans. Filled with a healthy combination of focused, hard-hitting rock songs & head bobbing, groove-driven tracks, the record has something for everybody." In other words, its a compromise. Umphrey's is not a band for everyone, and is not the sort of band that should be aiming for that. The result is a classic "remote control CD", or in other words, one in which you constantly have the remote in your hand waiting to skip over the many tunes that don't appeal to you in order to find the few that do. Mantis doesn't have a single song that I regularly skip. On the other hand, I skip over half of this album.

Problem #2 is even more serious. Mantis was recorded over a period of about 15 months, and the results reflected that. The song structure was excellent and the production values were FANTASTIC. It felt like an ALBUM, not a random collection of songs. Death By Stereo, on the other hand, was rushed in a big, big way. The label wanted them to produce another album in order to capitalize on the success of Mantis (let's face it, most jam bands don't sell many albums, and Mantis actually sold), so they pressured them to throw this one together.
Read more ›
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By John Alapick on September 22, 2011
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Umphrey's McGee's latest album, Death by Stereo, finds the talented band once again retooling their sound. While the band has always been great musicians, they have been focusing on their songwriting the last few albums and the results are impressive for the most part. They don't jam here like on previous albums or as they do live and there's more emphasis on electronics than guitars although the latter is still prevalent. The first single "Miami Virtue" is catchy as sin and very danceable. "Domino Theory" is the band at their most direct and is carried by its crunchy guitar lines. "Search 4" is full of musical peaks and valleys and the band's interplay here is impressive. "The Floor" continues the progression and builds throughout until its abrupt end. On Mantis, the band was adapting a sound akin to the `70s, especially Steely Dan, and that comes to fruition on the excellent tracks "Booth Love" and "Wellwishers" with their strong harmonies, deep grooves, and horn lines. "Deeper" has a groove and vibe much like War at their peak while "Conduit" has a great singalong lyric to go along with its melodic yet complex lines. The acoustic "Dim Sun", with its minor chords and solemn delivery, is a modest change of pace that works well while "Hajimemashite", a tune they've been doing live for many years, is a strong closer as Brandon Bayliss's stellar vocals complement the band's performance and the added strings very well. While I would've welcomed more of their guitar work (the solos in "Search 4" and past songs like "Turn and Run" and "Mantis" are awesome) and they don't stretch out like they used to, Death by Stereo is a strong album by one of the most talented bands around.
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