Underminded, hailing from San Diego, create some of the most honest, intense, and meaningful metalcore in today's scene. Unlike most new metalcore that is 99% metal, 1% hardcore, and 100% cliched, Underminded actually balances their metal and hardcore stylings pretty equally to create something relatively innovative and new. The riffs and brutality of metal collide with the breakdowns, lyrics, and intense vocal stylings of hardcore on the band's latest effort, called Hail Unamerican!. Now that you know a little bit about the sound, let's move on to the review.
From the start to the finish Hail Unamerican! is a very strong record musically. The guitar playing is solid and technical, without being overly flashy or metal. The vocals are intense, and gang vocals are interweaved with Nick, the lead singer's, gruff yell. There are even some semi-melodic vocals present in "Burn The Metropolis." The bass, while solid, hardly ever branches from playing root notes, though there are some nice fills. The drumming on this album is superb and it is one of my favorite things about the record. Drummer Wade Youman plays interesting beats that are technical and flat out cool! One of the best things about his drumming is his style of using double bass. Unlike most of the cliched modern metalcore bands that use double bass in just about every part of a song, he keeps the double bass to a minimum, making the parts that he does use them on a lot more hard hitting and intense.
Overall, this record flows really well and has a punk rock kind of vibe, with each track being as hard hitting and emotional as the one before it. There isn't a point on the record where it slows down or lets up. Although there are some songs that arent as good as others, there is a redeeming factor in every song that keeps you from skipping a track. Also, at around thirty minutes playing time, it's short enough to keep you interested the whole album. Highlights include "Pablo Escobar's Secret Stash: Revisited", "It's Kinda Like A Bodybag", "Burn The Metropolis", and "Hail Unamerican". The only negative point of the album is that some of the songs sound a little too similar. Other than that, it's an innovative record that breathes new life into the mundane metalcore scene.