Hearing Aide: Uncle Stump ‘Panacea’

Just a little over a year after their debut album Family Tree, The New Jersey-based psych/funk rock band Uncle Stump have released their second studio effort, Panacea. Although officially an EP, this five-song release is jam-packed with the depth and diversity of a full-length album. Avoiding a sophomore slump, the band was able to capture the texture and sound of their live shows while in the studio. Something that can be challenging to artists that improvise as much as Uncle Stump does on stage.

While still maintaining their signature twangy “mud funk” feel, the first three tracks, “Room”, “Mummy Powder”, and “Much To Say” show the quartet’s evolution into a slightly darker, and more progressive rock sound. The opening trio of songs is reminiscent of Dopapod’s compositions and hints at the heavier side of moe.’s sound at times. They segue seamlessly into each other to create an exciting 17-minute musical ride.

After the gloomy psychedelia, the record brightens up a bit with “Body Talk”. A lighthearted track with both tropical and jazzy sections, that is sure to end up being a dance-floor favourite for fans to sing along to. The final track of the EP “Anita”, starts as an upbeat and playful romp that finds itself spinning around into a deep groove, complete with vocals parts influenced by the likes of Zappa or Claypool. A catchy little jam you may find yourself humming even after the album is over.

Uncle Stump has been added to this year’s Sherman Winter Jam at the Sherman Theater in Stroudsburg, PA on February 16th. Headlined by revered Grateful Dead tribute Splintered Sunlight, the line-up promises to be a party full of explorative rock n’ roll.

Key Tracks: “Room”, “Anita”