New York’s formative noise-rock trio, Unsane, will always hold a tender spot in my heart, and that spot always seems to migrate to the pit of my stomach, settling in my bowels, preparing for its final destination by tearing apart my colo-rectal operations. Unsane is that feeling you get at 8am, the morning after that bottle of SoCo comes back for its unholy revenge. The Gods have abandoned you, and all hope is lost. There’s only one thing left to do – purge.
And that’s exactly how Unsane does.
On the band’s seventh release, Wreck, Unsane stays the course; same as it ever was. I guess the grizzly imagery (made apparent on their a covers; usually featuring car wreck, murder scenes and the like), the grinding nervous paranoia, and their sense of utter hopelessness never goes out of style. At least not for them.
Grinding hints of SST-era blues can be heard on tracks like the slide driven “Pigeon” or “Stuck,” while the tribal urges fuel “Rat,” “Metropolis” and “Roach,” hitting the most primal portions of your cerebellum. The brilliant, brutally grunge-esque “Don’t” and the 90s, Amphetamine Reptile, post-punk feel of "Ghost" rattle the chains of rock's eldest ideals. To top it all, the maniacal laughter on Unsane’s cover of Flipper’s “Ha Ha Ha” conjure up and sensationalize images of the worst teenage nightmare you’ve ever had.
Taking a cue from Scratch Acid’s David Yow, and other 90s experimental-metal acts (eg. Helmet) and mixing in raw hints of Black Sabbath and Captain Beefheart, Unsane is beyond disturbing, re-establishing themselves on top of the de-evolutionary, rock list. Even more admirable, Unsane has never shied away from what they are, never ignoring the voices in their head, always turning their Malfeasance into sonic gold.
Wreck is as solid, bloody and brilliant as any Unsane release. Just grit your teeth and bear it.
Stream Full Album via Metalsucks