Houston indie-prog outfit Sharks and Sailors' self-titled 2006 EP was one of the year's sleeper hits, a turbulent but precise journey of push-and-pull dynamics that recalls the finer moments of Don Caballero and Maserati. Demos for the trio's impending full-length debut, however, point toward calmer shores, with lucid, dreamlike guitar splashing against almost atmospheric vocals.
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Aiming for a considerably higher degree of musical agitation is Austin-based, Houston-bred trio Ume, led by bassist Eric Larson and wife Lauren on vocals and guitar. Ume's 2005 debut, Urgent Sea, released on NYC's Pretty Activity, sounds like Sonic Youth circa Sex Is Violence, with jarring no-wave tones and razor-sharp post-punk guitar. Live, Lauren's sheer physical presence is both engaging and unsettling, a whirlwind of fury bracing for the inevitable breakdown.