Bär McKinnon, former sax player from San Francisco’s seminal Mr. Bungle, is primed and ready to bring his specific brand of cartoonish, pop inspired tunes to the world with his new Melbourne-based outfit: Umlaut.
Featuring the radio single, Atlas Face, co-written and performed by former Mr. Bungle front man and music heavyweight Mike Patton (Faith No More, Fantômas, Peeping Tom, Tomahawk), Umlaut’s debut selt-titled album is whimsical, eccentric, dark and nothing you’ve ever heard before.
After spending years on the international circuit as a member of Mr. Bungle and the Secret Chiefs 3, Bär (pronounced “bear”) settled in Melbourne and went into hibernation, writing a mountain of songs. The result is Umlaut. Playing like a film score, Umlaut is a mix of Burt Bacharach-infused pop set in a cartoon-like world. The offbeat tunes fuse saxophone, flute and keyboards with more traditional rock guitars–an appealing mix that is quirky, energetic and beautiful.
It was after returning from a stint as a session player with the Secret Chiefs 3 last year that Bär’s brainchild, Umlaut, was ready to surface. The band has toured with comedian Neil Hamburger on his last two expeditions to Australia as well as the Secret Chiefs 3 on the Melbourne leg of their national tour late-2007. Gigging solidly around Melbourne, Umlaut have earned a dedicated local following as well as interest internationally by Bunglo-philes and music fans alike.
Umlaut’s debut self-titled will be available in stores and online on February 14 through AmpHead Music in Australia and The Orchard internationally.