Frontman Hamilton Ulmer led a 7-piece band that delighted, pumped up, and intrigued the audience with their unique sound and energetic performance. Makeunder’s skill, craft, and cohesion were apparent, and it was this high level of musicianship that allowed them to take listeners on a seamless journey, weaving through ever-shifting musical vignettes.
Ulmer’s songs are unique not only in their liberal modulations of the key, but more interestingly perhaps, in modulations of mood. Celestial whispers of guitar tremolo and saxophones give way to undeniable, banging beats; dissolving into tight-knit, vocal harmonies that crescendo and explode into brow-furrowing syncopations: all within a moment. Within the space of a single song, you can be transported through a dreamy sequence of related, yet distinctly different new keys, only to be dropped off in the middle of an all-hands-on-deck riff that feels both brand new and like something you’ve been waiting to hear since the beginning of the set. Some songs challenge you to find the beat. Others leave you struggling to find the tonic.
A unique musical experience that stands out amidst all the great music coming out of the Bay, you can catch Makeunder @Leo’s Music Club on June 19th.