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Album Review

Unisex officially came together in 1996, after two former members of the Telescopes — Stephen Lawrie and Jo (Joanna Doran) — began working with film music composer Nick Hemming to record soundtrack music for a low-budget U.K. movie, A Room for Romeo Brass. It's this bit of fact which might provide you with your first clue as to how to approach this mostly-instrumental effort. There's sonic evidence that this band is delving deeper than most bands who trick up pretty harmonies with ominous crashing waves of distorted guitars and the kind of reverb/echo exploration that My Bloody Valentine or their American-bred space rock brethren (Füxa, Third Eye Foundation, Windy & Carl, et. al) have already explored. Fortunately, there's an underlying, subterranean pop groove throughout each track, a few of which feature Stephen Lawrie's vocals. Along with the vocoder-laden opener "The Full Force Of the Sun" — which sounds strangely like early Pink Floyd-meets modern day avante-gardists Add 'N' to 'X' — the rest here also feels similar, stylistically (too much so) to previous recordings by Appliance, Air, and even Portishead.


Formed: 1996

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '00s

Staffordshire, England's Unisex formed from the ashes of the Telescopes, one of the sadly forgotten bands who recorded a handful of fine early-'90s EPs for Creation Records. The U.K. label's now decimated ranks at one time featured Oasis, Primal Scream, Teenage Fanclub, Ride, and the Jesus & Mary Chain, just to name a few; one can see how easy it would be to get overlooked in such heady company. Original Telescopers and now co-leaders of Unisex, Stephen Lawrie and Jo Doran originally came together...
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Stratosfear, Unisex
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