Although Angela Ueber currently lives in sunny California, this talented musician once fronted Rushville Whig, a Fort Wayne favorite for many years. With her self-titled debut EP unleashed on the local natives, I’m sure that many are rejoicing.
The opening track, “Perfect Enemy,” is an edgy, dark rocker. Ueber’s husky voice is a perfect match for the aggressive, yet sexy song that is rounded out by excellent guitar work, horns and organs, giving a slight Doors feel. Backwards drums lead into the heavily-organ based “Beautiful Creature.” Squishy clavichord melodies underplay Ueber’s sultry vocals that segue into a wash of strange guitar sounds and eerie background vocals. “Cancer Sign” is much more conventional with hints of early Heart. Light rock mixes with a touch of country, allowing Ueber ample room to stretch her vocal cords with scads of pleasing harmonies. The worst thing about this song is the way the sticky chorus melody sticks in your head … consider yourself warned.
A Spanish feel dominates “Superhuman Female” with nice horn melodies matched by throbbing orchestral strings. The bass is slightly more prominent, but even it is outdone by the excellent guitar solo which manages to capture the Spanish feel in a rock setting. “Outwest” is another rocker with upbeat, flanged guitar and a swaggering feel that dives into a driving bridge. The final track, “Instead,” is a sad ballad with a classic rock feel that borrows some modern elements. Light guitars, rich background vocals and another ultra-catchy melody make this ethereal torch song a real delight.
The six very different songs on this excellent first release showcases Ueber’s growing songwriting acumen as well as her guitar and vocal talents. Recorded and mastered in California, everything about this album is top-notch, from the recording to the musicianship to the artwork. Fans of Ueber’s past work in Fort Wayne would do well to make sure this tasty release finds a home in their collection.
This review first appeared in WhatzUp, August 2002.