Review Summary: Will the members of United Nations please stand up
Let’s face it; new bands live off hype. For many, it may take weeks of press releases to various music websites and publications and yet, the outcome can turn for the worst. However, all United Nations needed were twenty-four hours to explode. Music websites and message boards jumped to link the supergroup’s album stream that sparked music communities around the internet to decide the rest. After all, it becomes relatively easy to spread the news when you hear about the possible
* artists contributing on United Nations’ self-titled debut. However, hype was just the beginning of United Nations’ true motives.
With so many different stylistic backgrounds among members, this album could go in a slew of directions. Confirmed guitarist/vocalist Geoff Rickly of Thursday disclosed in an earlier interview that United Nations
sound is reminiscent to the mid-90s screamo/ grindcore bands that silently swept through basements across the country. However, please
don’t expect to hear Orchid or Portraits of Past. United Nations are far more melodic overall behind their endless wall of frantic and chaotic music. In fact, United Nations are recapturing a sound and creating something delectably refreshing, even if they are not serious about their band.
‘Cause we all live in a yellow submarine / in a yellow submarine we live / we all live in a cellophane dream’ utters Geoff in “Resolution #9,” as blast-beats and guitar create a wildly catchy song. Assuming the lyrical excerpt is a mockery of the Beatles (to add to their flaming Abbey Road
limited edition album cover) only leads me to believe the album may be littered with such quips. And with that comes “The Shape of Punk That Never Came,” deeming the obvious relationship with the critically acclaimed Refused album, The Shape Of Punk To Come
. A statement like such leads to a question of how serious the musicianship will be.
Fortunately, I will have to admit that United Nations pulled it together musically. There are songs that turn out truly beautiful like “My Cold War” and “The Shape Of Punk That Never Came” as it ends sounding rather somber. Both songs have that ‘umph’ yet still maintain a melodic backbone. One of the notable standout tracks, “Subliminal Testing,” ends with one of the best guitar riffs I have heard this year in addition to being one of the more versed songs on the album. Lastly, you will find, “Say Goodbye To General Figment of The USS Imagination,” which envelops the qualities found within the entire album. Among the on-and-off melodic/coarse vocals countered with dense power-chord riffs and occasional finger tapping, it finds a way to come together as it ends with a beautiful free-jazz saxophone solo to end a truly unique album. “Say Goodbye To General Figment of The USS Imagination” is all the chaos and beauty that screamo stood for back in the mid-90s and what United Nations stand for today.
All in all, with United Nations
you will find a solid screamo/grindcore album, but this album can be viewed in so many different directions. There will be the screamo elitist who will call this a complete pile of shi
t, something laughable compared to the legends of the past. Other will see United Nation’s self-titled as a complete joke that was simply intended to screw with critics and fans alike. Some will see this as the God’s greatest gift to humanity. Then there are people like me, who find this as an exciting, entertaining, and solid listen regardless of what may behind it. Who knows the true intentions of United Nations, but it will surely cause a stir within music communities and believe me, I am certain they will be there watching us squirm; and they will love every minute of it. Choose wisely.
*With the official line-up unknown at this point, it’s impossible to really know. Rumors have been floating around but what seems to be the only confirmed member is Geoff Rickly of Thursday. Daryl Palumbo of GlassJAw and Ben Koller of Converge are two strong possibilities due to what has been said in interviews and what has been posted on Converge’s website and GlassJAw’s fan website. It’s honestly useless speculating at this point because of the record contract clause that causes this discrepancy, which gets a big fu
ck you right now.