Posts Tagged ‘Vincent Signorelli’

Album of the day: Unsane – Wreck

Posted on Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

Lovingly pinched from Pitchfork: As 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.

Which is all a way of saying that Unsane tell us nothing we don’t already know on Wreck, their seventh LP (first in five years and a debut on Alternative Tentacles). If you’ve heard anything the band has issued since 1995’s Scattered, Smothered & Covered— the record where the current lineup solidified, and arguably the definitive Unsane statement– you know what you’re getting into: ugly yet starkly coherent noise rock, built from just a few elements– the rumble / thud of bassist Dave Curran and drummer Vincent Signorelli, and Spencer’s sneering postindustrial blues riffs and trademark distorted yelp.

Continue reading: Unsane: Wreck | Album Reviews | Pitchfork.

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Posted in 2012, Album of the Day, Roadburn Recommended | No Comments »