Review Summary: A dark, bleak, and forgotten masterpiece of the 21st century.
The cover of Leaves Turn Inside You
doesn’t seem to be a very interesting one; a plain dark gray background with five letters at the very bottom: U, N, N, D, and a strange hybrid of N and W in the middle. However upon listening to the album, the cover makes more sense. Leaves Turn Inside You
really is the ultimate gray album, the perfect soundtrack to a dark, cold, gray-skied setting. Frontman Justin Trosper sings about freezing summers, ghosts and demons, and a future void of any hope. While the album maintains a consistent mood of hopelessness, the songs do not suffer as none of them sound too similar to one another.
Leaves Turn Inside You
is basically Unwound’s equivalent to Fugazi’s The Argument
. Primarily a post-hardcore band in their previous records, this record was a major step away from their normal sound, experimenting with a string section, mellotron, spoken samples, etc. While Unwound had quite a few long songs before this record, none can compare to the amazing epic 9+ minute Terminus
. The song is broken up into 3 sections: a typical guitar driven vocal section, a Godspeed You! Black Emperor- like orchestrated section, and a swirling guitar/keyboard instrumental. Another experimental standout is the depressing, atmospheric One Lick Less
, which has a strong My Bloody Valentine feel. October All Over
features Trosper’s droning vocals sang over a haunting guitar riff played in an alternate tuning, a characteristic common in many Unwound songs.
Leaves Turn Inside You
is one of the most emotionally captivating albums this decade has to offer. With the exception of Slint’s Spiderland
, I can’t think of another album that creates such a bleak and hopeless atmosphere. I highly recommend this to any fans of later Fugazi, Slint, or Sonic Youth. Leaves Turn Inside You
can be an exhausting listen, totaling in at 74:38, and it’s certainly not an album for everyone or something to listen to everyday. However, every minute is used effectively and contributes to the album’s flow. Once given the proper time for everything to soak in, Leaves Turn Inside You
becomes a very rewarding and unique listen.
Extremely well written and structured songs
Amazing album flow
Can be exhausting
Demons Sing Love Songs
Off This Century
October All Over