Review : Unsane - Wreck
PitchforkAs anyone who's hung out there in the past decade could tell you, New York's Lower East Side is no longer a scary place. It's the kind of hood where you can chow on designer meatballs, drink Pabst in a neo-dive bar, and catch an artfully rustic indie folk band. Sure, some gritty pockets remain, but it wouldn't even come close to ranking on a list of contemporary NYC's bogeyman areas.
You wouldn't know any of this from listening to Unsane. In the mind of guitarist-frontman Chris Spencer, who moved to the LES along with his bandmates in the late 1980s, the place remains feral, a cesspool of violence (emotional as well as physical), addiction, and alienation that's straight out of Travis Bickle's dystopia. When Unsane got going, they might have mirrored their environment-- their first drummer, Charlie Ondras, died of an overdose in 1992-- but in 2012, the band's output is a PTSD freeze frame, a protracted rant re: the idea that things simply don't get better. Likewise, Unsane's sound is anti-evolutionary, almost masochistically so. For the past 20-odd years, both in their gruesome album covers (a severed head on the subway tracks, an automobile grille smeared with blood) and their often monosyllabically titled songs, they've explored only shades of grey, with spatterings of red....full text
StereokillerIts been 5 years since the last release from NYC's noise rock legends, Unsane. I don't know about the rest of you guys, but I've been counting down the days since a release date for Wreck was announced.
I've walked a long road with this bands music in my headphones through many phases of my life. To be honest, I've been listening to Unsane longer than I have most hardcore bands. This is thanks to a close friend of mine with whom I grew up. We used to skateboard and listen to punk/metal records... most of which were new to me. One day he let me borrow a copy of 1993's Total Destruction and I was instantly hooked upon hearing the opening track 'Body Bomb'....full text
HeavymetalNew York City's noise rockers Unsane have been making metallic, hardcore tinged punk since 1988, and Wreck is their seventh full-length album. Unsane are devoted to an angry, seething filthiness in their sound that evokes the merciless and danger of old New York City. Wreck is no different, all rage and bloody concrete, the voice of a city that is ready to swallow you whole.
The production quality has just the right amount of griminess to suit the alternating brooding fury and spitting aggression of the album perfectly. The guitars have scratchy, gritty quality that contrasts very well against the bluesy smoothness of many of the riffs and enhances the sharp edges of many others. The sound also has a close quality to it, not so much that the album feels strangled, but just enough to evoke a bit of claustrophobia and crowding.
The individual songs that compose Wreck are permutations of various forms of frustration, finally unleashed. Each song engages with a different kind of pent-up emotion and the results of unleashing it. “No Chance” rages against futility and inevitability, surging forward and then being battered back, while “Ghost” has a completely different kind of energy, a more urgent, swirling, scathing abrasiveness....full text
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