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Blood Run

Unsane

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Album Review

Listening to Unsane's "business-as-usual" comeback album, Blood Run, one is hard-pressed to believe that all of seven years have passed since the New York noise rock stalwarts' released their previous studio effort, Occupational Hazard, and went their separate ways amid no small amount of acrimony. Even more amazing is recalling the innumerable musical cliques that have had their day and vanished in the interim; it seems perfectly reasonable that the infamously obstinate, fame-avoiding trio should see absolutely no reason to alter, or in any way update, their original songwriting M.O. for this new release (especially since it was largely the critical and public acclaim lavished upon 2003's career-spanning Lambhouse collection that actually egged the band out of retirement in the first place). So it is that Blood Run welcomes listeners back into Unsane's dingy, oppressive, and overcast soundtrack to urban decay — a frightening place where every word uttered is a ragged scream, guitars clang against drums like hammers upon anvils, and unnerving shards of melody echo from standout tracks like "Backslide," "Killing Time," and "Latch" (all delivered with the nails-on-chalkboard shrillness of a New York City ambulance siren). Elsewhere, sludgy, drunken shuffles like "Hammered Out" and "Dead Weight" threaten disorienting, bowel-loosening miasma; and even the energetic, hard-driving numbers like "Release" and "D Train" leave one feeling as if they are the chased, not the chaser. Assembled as they are here, side-to-side like so many suspects in a police lineup, all of the above variations are unmistakably Unsane, making Blood Run an excellent and surprisingly seamless addition to the band's canon.

Biography

Formed: 1989 in New York, NY

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s

New York City's Unsane assisted in pioneering a more aggressive, less studied version of noise rock, one that blended the scum/art industrial sturm und drang of Foetus, the Swans, Einsturzende Neubauten, and Sonic Youth with the decidedly more straightforward hardcore idiom favored by acts like Sick of It All. While developing the blueprint for noise-metal bands to follow, Unsane cut a remarkable swath through underground music, inspiring a devoted, cult-like following around the globe. As a power...
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Top Albums and Songs by Unsane

Blood Run, Unsane
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