SHOWFACE (Anthemusa Records)

SHOWFACE                    (Anthemusa Records)


For Longtime Artists, Dawning Of A New Day

URSA MINOR SHOWFACE (Anthemusa Records)

This staunchly eclectic indie-rock band released its first album, “Silent Moving Picture” (Smells Like), back in 2003. Its second album, “Showface” (Anthemusa), has finally been released, and whatever mystery lies behind the long wait, the new music feels tough and loose, totally incubated. As ever, Ursa Minor lives and dies by the effort of Michelle Casillas, an assertive lead singer and a broodingly earnest songwriter. She used to play keyboards in the band and now focuses on electric guitar, which may account for the punchier underground-rock tone. There are guest turns by the guitarists Teddy Kumpel and Jim Campilongo, the violist Caleb Burhans and a handful of jazz-trained horn players. And the band still has one of the most flexibly rugged rock rhythm sections in New York, with Tony Scherr on guitars, Rob Jost on bass and Robert DiPietro on drums. (Mr. Scherr and Mr. Kumpel produced and mixed the album.) The songs run the gamut — power pop (“She Wants You”), ragalike rock (“No Other”) and retro-grunge (“Guerilla”) — and they’re often infused with surprising details. They make you want to see Ursa Minor in action at a place like the Living Room, where the band will play next Saturday (Details on that show are at -Nate Chinen, NY Times

Album cover photo