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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.

Customer Reviews

As heavy as heavy gets

Unsane is the singular most intense and heavy band you will ever hear. Melvins? Like tiddly-winks in comparison. Helmet? Laughing gas. Unsane is the real deal. They are as heavy as it gets. But it doensn't stop there. Factor in performing in a white hot rage on stage and it's one look to see why Unsane continues to rule on the heavy scene. No pretense, no bull. This is as heavy as heavy gets. You will not be disappointed. -- font9a

Heavy Lifting

The sticker on my copy said "For fans of High on Fire and Melvins". Those words could not have been more appropriate. I am sorry I didn't discover these guys sooner. I could have expanded in this direction during the 90s rather than following Helmet through to their embarrasing recent demise. That said, fans of early Helmet will find something to like here, although this is much grimier and sludgy (Melvin-esque?). But, considering that the Melvins toured with Helmet several times, I guess all of the threads do actually tie together at some point. Buy it! Not a stinker in the bunch, honestly...

Mmmm, taste like chicken

Amazing how these guys sound the same as they did 15 years ago. But that's fine by me. Very crunchy tunes and I'm hard pressed to say one album is better than any other. There are other albums that iTunes does not have like for instance "Scattered, Smothered & Covered" which was my first introduction to Unsane. If you dig this leave-no-survivors kind of hardcore (well, it's harder than hardcore), try some of these related bands (at least in energy and attitude - this list is closer to Unsane than the lame-a** iTunes recommendations): Today is the Day; Steel Pole Bath Tub; Poisen Idea; Nomeansno; Hammerhead; Distorted Pony; God and Texas; Drive Like Jehu; Crust; Big Black. They are are different but, I bet you'll dig them also if you like Unsane.

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...
Full Bio
Blood Run, Unsane
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