Prog-influenced jam band champions Umphrey's McGee sought a return to unadulterated rock & roll for eighth album Similar Skin, and first to be released on the band's own imprint Nothing Too Fancy Music; it's also their first effort since 2011's Death by Stereo. While still entrenched in the wandering spirit of jam band improvisation, the 11 songs lean heavily on the influence of '80s pop, rock, and even radio metal, with tunes like album-opener "The Linear" calling to mind the epic polyrhythms of Rush and the epic soloing of the late-'80s Hollywood hair metal scene. The rock assault is tempered with the occasional low-key number, such as the bouncy, pop-minded "No Diablo."
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AllMusic Review by Fred Thomas