Album Reviews


May 20, 2012, UNSANE released their 7th album “WRECK” on Alternative Tentacles Records.  UNSANE has been a personal staple of what abrasive, unadulterated, relentless, passionate and honest musical art is to me.  I was first exposed to them in 1993 and the musical warfare violently and overwhelmingly changed me forever. A driving 3-piece unit of refined musical chaos and snarl that has never compromised, only to forge ahead on every brilliant album. You know those bands that NEVER let you down (very rare these days)? I do…UNSANE has NEVER let me down and I’ve waited very IMpatiently for “WRECK”…

UNSANE was formed in New York in 1988 by guitarist/vocalist Chris Spencer, drummer Charlie Ondras and bassist Pete Shore. Due to the passing of Ondras in 1992 and unexpected exit by Shore in 1994, UNSANE was then completed with thee definitive lineup of drummer Vinnie Signorelli (formally of Foetus and Swans) and bassist Dave Curran.

Damn, where do I f*ckin’ start: This band has meant so much to me.  Spencer cuttin’ you with serrated guitar tones, relentless, fierce and unapologetic guitar riffs…riff after riff after riff after dissonant riff!!!  Signorelli is the epidamey of an unyielding backbone, like a solider battling along side the dearest of comrades.  A bassist that has defined what bass SHOULD like: gettin’ stoned to death in the street. The bass playing and diabolical TONE of Mr. Curran allows this 3-piece entity to sound as monstrous and hellish as the most infernal regions.  I’ve witnessed way too many live 5-piece bands that don’t hold a candle to the sonic onslaught of what these kats produce live. Completing this misfit outfit is the vocals of one lone wolf, Chris Spencer. Spencer howls a workhorse, blue-collar voice for the masses. An undeniably honest and belting aggression exemplifying desperation of a man clawing up a beaten wall built by this twisted world of personal and common adversity.  Powerful shit, people. This is genuine street knowledge in hardcore music form.

“WRECK” continues in the vein of what UNSANE has forever done best: write and perform hardcore music in a simple, yet utmost hypnotic and stimulating form.  The intensity of Spencer’s vocal delivery is comin’ from somewhere slightly scarier this time. The man sounds even more pissed off…and it’s extremely poetic. “No Chance” opens this album by hurling you into the world of UNSANE with the band freight training through your face, wailing a killer signature Spencer harmonica line that simply rules…it’s exactly what these kats have done for the last 20yrs and they’re fuckin’ great at it.

Track Listing:

1. No Chance

2. Stuck

3. Pigeon

4. Decay

5. Metropolis

6. Ha Ha ha

7. Rat

8. Don’t

9. Roach

10. Ghost

“WRECK” is a front to back listen for me. I love every song… although, personal highlights include “No Chance”, “Don’t”, “Roach”, “Decay”, “Ghost” and “Metropolis”.  Along with the FLIPPER cover “HA HA HA”, listen for infectious Spencer signature slide guitar playin’ weavin’ in and out of this record, simply awesome.

Final word: Chris’s guitar alongside Dave and Vinnie have taught me so much about sonic and musical architecture since ’93…it undeniably flowes through my own creative musical veins.  Make no mistake people; UNSANE has stood on their own mountain, a pure original, paving away in 2012 with a relevancy that few ever maintain. Every record in they’re catalogue is worth owning…ask me, I’ll tell ya ALL about ‘em… Catch them on tour starting March 11, 2012 with The Melvins…

-Todd Buller


Categories: Album Reviews