As the curtain falls on a certain Vermont phoursome, few would argue against the notion that things just ain't what they used to be. Only a decade ago, the Dead was still truckin' down the road with Jerry at the wheel, and Phish was still just the right size for its cozy little bowl. Now, as rock rags like Relix and Rolling Stone attempt to read the smoke signals being sent up from Phish's disintegration -- as if a new prog-rock pontiff's name could be found floating in the purple haze -- heirs apparent such as Umphrey's McGee are going about their business as usual. Though Umphrey's isn't campaigning for the vacant jam crown, Anchor Drops, the band's second studio release, is a crisp, taut effort that finds the Chicago sextet hitting its stride at a curiously convenient time.
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