Umphrey’s McGee and Nine Inch Nails came together to make an album called Jimkata. That manifested into a whole band of it’s own with completely different people and then those people made three albums called Burn My Money, Ghosts and Killers, and Jimkata’s newest release Die Digital. Okay not really, but it might as well be true.
I had the pleasure to see Jimkata at the Hangar 9 in Carbondale, Illinois on November 14, and like many bands that role through this area I did not know who they were. They have two of their albums to download for free on their website. They were good enough for me to buy their third album Die Digital at the show. I should’ve had them sign it.
Their set served as a major test run for their newest album by playing tracks such as Die Digital and Sweet Glory, but they peppered in many of their old tunes including a personal favorite One to Ten and Roll with the Punches.
In One to Ten Evan Friedell, Jimkata’s guitarist and lead vocals, really carries the tone of Brendon Bayliss of Umphrey’s McGee in this track. It layers smoothly over the driving funk resonating from the synthesizers by Aaron Gorch, their synth player and lead guitarist, and the drummer Packy Lunn. The bassist Dave Rossi dabbles with the synthesizer in some tracks as well, adding a nice bass spectrum to their tone.
Musically this band also follows the texture of Umphrey’s McGee. In Roll with the Punches the lead riffs are tight over a heavy back beat only to desert the style immediately for a smooth contrasting melody that snaps back into the heavy lead with vocal melodies filling out the rest.
Their ambidextrous abilities over flow into their Die Digital track. Their funk groove develops into poppy overtones that morph into a double bass breakdown toward the end of the track.
They are the perfect melting pot of styles that explore the jam aspect modern music lacks.