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Unsane

New York City's Unsane assisted in pioneering a more aggressive, less studied version of noise rock, one that blended thescum/art industrial sturm und drang of Foetus, the Swans, Einsturzende Neubauten, and Sonic Youth with the decidedly morestraightforward hardcore idiom favored by acts like Sick of It All. While developing the blueprint for noise-metal bands tofollow, Unsane cut a remarkable swath through underground music, inspiring a devoted, cult-like following around the globe.As a power trio, Unsane relied upon a hammering, power-press rhythm section, a searing Telecaster howl, and ...read more

New York City's Unsane assisted in pioneering a more aggressive, less studied version of noise rock, one that blended thescum/art industrial sturm und drang of Foetus, the Swans, Einsturzende Neubauten, and Sonic Youth with the decidedly morestraightforward hardcore idiom favored by acts like Sick of It All. While developing the blueprint for noise-metal bands tofollow, Unsane cut a remarkable swath through underground music, inspiring a devoted, cult-like following around the globe.As a power trio, Unsane relied upon a hammering, power-press rhythm section, a searing Telecaster howl, and distortedvocals that resembled nothing if not the sound of a man trapped in the New York Subway system.

Having met at Sarah Lawrence College in the late '80s, the original incarnation of Unsane — Chris Spencer (vocals, guitar),Pete Shore (bass), and Charles Ondras (drums) — crawled larvally out of the practice space in 1989 and began playing NewYork's seediest haunts. It was these graveyard slots at clubs like CBGB's where the band developed and honed theirtrademark sound and delivered the goods with due intensity and volume. Unsane piqued the interest of numerous small indielabels and began issuing a series of singles and EPs before recording their self-titled debut with Matador Records. Using thephoto of a decapitated man lying across train tracks, Unsane's album cover set the tone for the admixture of seethingaggression, naked fear, and barely controlled noise chaos contained within. But the band's devastating maelstrom containedmore than enough tunefulness and rock propulsion to quite easily surpass its more affected Lower East Side peers.

During 1992, Unsane's daunting schedule was cut devastatingly short by the untimely drug overdose of drummer CharlesOndras. Former Swans and Foetus drummer Vinny Signorelli climbed aboard the swiftly moving train in the fall of 1992 andthe band began composing its next album. In the interim, Matador compiled and issued a collection of Unsane's early singlesand compilation tracks, appropriately titled Singles: 89-92. It is perhaps Unsane's defining moment. The following year foundthe band recording its first for Atlantic Records, Total Destruction, a menacing, dark collection of songs driven by Signorelli'shypnotic drumming and Spencer's man-pushed-to-the-edge vocals. More touring followed and Matador released the PeelSessions disc almost concurrently with Total Destruction.

After being discharged from Atlantic in 1994, Unsane found both a new bass player in Dave Curran — who joined on tourwhile doing sound for the band — and a home for their next album, Scattered, Smothered, and Covered, on the independentnoise rock label, Amphetamine Reptile Records. While maintaining the band's signature sound and volume, 1995'sScattered... showed the band opening their rhythmic approach, with most songs inhabiting a more rock-oriented 4/4 pattern,granting the album a more spacious and controlled feel. Scattered... also contained the unlikely MTV hit video for "Scrape,"featuring a series of skateboard accidents intercut with footage of the band performing live. Created for 200 dollars, it wasironically named one of MTV's Ten Funniest Videos. The band toured relentlessly and managed to secure an opening slot withmetal behemoths Slayer on one of their North American headlining tours. Shortly after, the trio made another label switch toRelapse Records and began constructing its final album, the ironically titled Occupational Hazard. While on a press tour inEurope only a month prior to the disc's release, Spencer was brutally attacked by street thugs and left for dead on thestreets of Vienna, Austria. After emergency surgery, he returned to the touring arena. Though Unsane temporarily disbandedin 2000, they returned a few years later with a compilation (Lambhouse) and an original album, 2005's Blood Run . In 2007,Unsane Signed to Mike Patton's Ipecac label. « hide

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LPs
Wreck
03/20/2012

3.6
76 Votes
Visqueen
2007

4
62 Votes
Blood Run
2005

3.2
19 Votes
Occupational Hazard
1998

3.7
29 Votes
Scattered, Smothered & Covered
1995

3.9
44 Votes
Total Destruction
1993

3.8
40 Votes
Unsane
1991

4
69 Votes
Live Albums
Amrep Christmas
1997

3.2
3 Votes
Attack In Japan
1995

3.5
1 Votes
The Peel Sessions
1994

3.8
3 Votes
Compilations
Lambhouse: The Collection 1991-1998
2003

4.3
8 Votes
Singles 89-92
1992

4
5 Votes

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