Review Summary: Imagine your dad in a hardcore band. Then cover him in glitter and get him nude.
Chaotic hardcore was a style of music I took a long time to appreciate. Converge, Refused, Dillinger, Locust, et al, all seemed to be doing too much for me to digest. Then I realised that's the point of it. Totally Unicorn are an Australian band paving the way in that scene, touring relentlessly, amassing a following of fans and lovers and all the while doing it with cruise control set on chill.
At six tracks, and fifteen minutes in length, your beard's not overgrown by the time Horse Hugger's final notes are played, but what you're left with is this strange euphoric feeling of elation. It's bullshit
. Bouncing around tempos, time-signatures, keys and modes, this magical animal takes you over the double-rainbow and through a smorgasbord of emotions. If you can't tell, Totally Unicorn's music has a sense of humour to it. Refreshingly though, it's balanced against amazing musicianship and writing. Live they're similar, with singer Drew often revealing his svelte figure in all its glory. As a band that's formed out of the guts of two others (the tonally lush Ohana
and experimentally brilliant Hospital The Musical
), it's sophisticated writing which obviously has come from being experienced in playing live for years, and having a rapport with each other which pushes their playing to wizard like levels.
But enough waffling away, this music slays. Aggressive, harsh, driving and hot. All tracks on the EP are strong and represent evenly the different facets of this band's style. It's done-well hardcore that pummels the listener without reprieve but without a sameness that many bands seem to struggle with in this style of music. Buy this EP and shit
your pants with delight.