The last time Unsane went on hiatus, singer/guitarist Chris Spencer formed this band, which plays music that is sonically similar to but subtly different from his main gig. They recorded an EP and a full-length that came out in 2000 on the late lamented Man’s Ruin label. Well, it’s about 15 years later, and once again Unsane has gone on hiatus, so he has relaunched this band which features bassist Tony Baumeister and drummer Will Caroll.
The vinyl version of this release comes out on Lamb Unlimited, with all other formats being handled by Philadelphia’s Reptilian Records, the label formed by Spencer and No More Records main-man Alan Schneider. Releases from noise rock renaissance men Rabbits and UXO (noise rock super-group featuring Spencer and Today Is The Day major domo Steve Austin) are imminent, with more planned in the very near future.
If you want to know the subtle differences between Unsane and The Cutthroats 9, just look on the album cover. You’ll see a slide on Spencer’s gloriously beat up guitar. You see, this band features all the noisy, heavy riffs you’d expect, but it also incorporates more of the blues, which showed up in small doses on the last Unsane record, Wreck. But before you think Spencer has gone soft, this is some of the noisiest, heaviest blues you are likely to hear all year. The slide is wielded like a weapon.
The second track on the album, “Eraser”, features this new approach, where brusque noise rock gives way to some cutting work with the slide. It also makes an appearance on many other tracks on the record. “Dissension” opens with the slide running wild all over the strings of Spencer’s guitar, then goes heavy, with the slide doing its best to create a soulful, slashing sound.
Dissent is another feather in the cap of this veteran of the loud and crazy, but also marks a great way to start this new venture. Here’s hoping to many more releases from both the band and the label.
(Lamb Unlimited/Reptilian Records, no address provided)