We Are The U nion
Great Leaps Forward


3.5
great

Review

by Mike Allen USER (107 Reviews)
April 19th, 2010 | 23 replies


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: “Great Leaps Forward” represents a band at their crossroads, ultimately coming away with their defining moment.

“Great Leaps Forward” is a risky album title. These titles demonstrate that the band has examined their work and assessed where the improvements need to be made, yet more often than not, they fail to completely relate to the music. We Are the Union’s sophomore release not only attempts to indicate that progress has been made, but takes it that much further to say that something significant has been done here. In a sense, We Are the Union has made momentous progress. These Ann Arbor, Michigan native punk rockers released their debut “Who We Are” under an independent label, remaining both relatively unknown and unsung. “Who We Are” demonstrated a great deal of potential for the quintet, utilizing an accelerated melodic style with infused elements of hardcore and ska. This proved to be intriguing enough to get the band signed on to Paper and Plastic records in the early goings this year; giving their sophomore record somewhat of a rightful meaning.

There is no denying the constant comparisons with ska-outfit Less Than Jake. The break-neck pace, horns, and fiery leads recall their acclaimed peer, but even with that in place, “Great Leaps Forward” reveals We Are the Union as more than Less Than Jake-wannabes. While maintaining a belligerent and anarchic edge, “Great Leaps Forward” doesn’t cease to be melodic and cohesively developed. The musicianship is crafted in such a way that it replicates the very mood and atmosphere of the moment with such virtuosity. We see We Are the Union utilizing blistering leads and thundering distortion when necessary, and transitioning beautifully into melodic and chilled sections. The vocals do not cease to offer alternative perspectives as well, ranging from gang choruses to a callous growl. While the drums and bass seem to drive the tracks as they typically do, the horns provide the personality and flavor that so adequately defines We Are the Union. The album’s fifth cut Strange, Slow, and Old so sufficiently serves as an epitome of the entire record, for it electrifies, awes, and even courts the listener in just under three minutes time. Strangely enough, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea gives off a reggae vibe, that is apparent in several other arbitrary points in the record. With that said, Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is undeniably the release’s most characteristic and eccentric track, but most significantly suggests that the band has crafted their own sound. As indicated, We Are the Union’s fusion of styles and tempos bodes well for “Great Leaps Forward,” offering that smidgen more that separates it from most conventional punk records.

In hindsight, “Great Leaps Forward” may not have been the ideal title for such an album, but in further review of We Are the Union’s new record, these Ann Arbor natives have made significant strides. Aside from signing a record deal earlier this year, the band appears to be moving in a faster and more productive direction. We Are the Union have developed a cohesive and intriguing release of sorts in 2010; thundering and dazzling their way to bigger and better things, although failing to deliver the ground-breaking record that the title suggests. “Great Leaps Forward” represents a band at their crossroads, ultimately coming away with their defining moment. At least for now.

Recommended Tracks:
We’re All Dead
Where’d You Go, Psycho Boy?
Strange, Old, and Slow
We Don't Care If Yesterday Burns, Stoke Up the Fire
Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea
One Million Motors



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user ratings (15)
Chart.
3.6
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
EVedder27
April 19th 2010


6088 Comments


You sputnik punk fans will enjoy this

Athom
Staff Reviewer
April 19th 2010


17213 Comments


The great leap forward poured down upon us one day like a mighty storm, suddenly and furiously blinding our senses.

Digging: Inigo Kennedy - Vaudeville

EVedder27
April 19th 2010


6088 Comments


That would be one badass summary

Satellite
April 19th 2010


20816 Comments


I downloaded this last week but haven't given it a listen yet. Good review man.

EVedder27
April 19th 2010


6088 Comments


Thanks dude, you'll probably really like this.

Blindsided
April 19th 2010


1871 Comments


At 14 songs how long is the album actually?

EVedder27
April 19th 2010


6088 Comments


A little over a half hour. Pretty typical punk album.

Blindsided
April 19th 2010


1871 Comments


Also is the band not named We Are The Union?

Satellite
April 19th 2010


20816 Comments


Also is the band not named We Are The Union?

Dude, yes. WTF is going on?

Satellite
April 19th 2010


20816 Comments


Thanks dude, you'll probably really like this.

I'm waiting for the day that I hate an album you like. Haha.

EVedder27
April 20th 2010


6088 Comments


Yeah its supposed to be We Are the Union, but I think theres some issue with the system. I believe Willie looked into it and made the change, but it didn't do anything. If you search for We Are the Union, it still brings you to their band page.

AggravatedYeti
April 20th 2010


7685 Comments


looks like a Mike Allen review to meee!

Um, this sounds pretty cool actually, I'll have to check this out.

Satellite
April 20th 2010


20816 Comments


Yeah, I really like this. I'm guessing it'll only grow on me.

Also, Ann Arbor FTW.

Nagrarok
April 20th 2010


8247 Comments


Great review as per usual, not interested in album.

EVedder27
April 20th 2010


6088 Comments


Thanks all. Good to see you enjoy this Tyler.

focksy
May 5th 2010


437 Comments


on a scale of 1-5, what would you give this

EVedder27
May 5th 2010


6088 Comments


3.5....

focksy
May 5th 2010


437 Comments


could you justify that rating for me please

EVedder27
May 5th 2010


6088 Comments


I wrote this review, that should do it brosky

focksy
May 5th 2010


437 Comments


oh man i didnt see that there
woops



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