The Unseen is one of those early 90ís gritty, raw punk bands that had a series of changes and unfortunate occurrences that eventually led up to the creation of something completely new, yet masked as the same band. The Unseen of the 90ís was all about that heart-pounding 80ís hardcore, like Minor Threat and Black Flag. It lasted quite a long time, and over the years, the band got more political, and decided to tackle their own issues with a much different spectrum of leads, vocals, and musical approaches, all armed with minor components weíd see in todayís standards of ďhardcore".
The bandís newest release, State of Discontent
, is their heaviest release yet, and due to their history of average quality on their records, their cleanest, most crisp production to date. The bandís approach on the music on the album is surely to be admired by a large portion of their fans, while turned down by the fans of their 90ís, hardcore revival material. Either way, itís very hard to deny that the musicians on this record have real talent, and use it to the extent that their genre meant for. No filler, no excuses, and certainly no half-assed songs about the president that simply donít explain shit.
The first tracks on the album are fused into another, and work as a very lengthy introduction to the similar material that will later present itself. What the guitars spew out in the beginning of every track is what hardcore was always defined as. Itís a force that you can tell carries a rhythmic section, as well as a purpose. The riffs from tracks like Scream Out
and Final Execution
are brilliant, and while it belongs in the typical punk family of riffs that can start out such a heavy score, originality thrives, and it will seem clear that youíre not listening on just a whim.
Mark, the lead vocalist, does the risky work of carrying out the vocal message of the album. Combined with something as barbaric as thundering leads, and a seismic pattern from an 80s Pearl drum kit, Markís vocals can only be described as a rabid wolf, crying out a mix of hatred, complaints, and mixed feelings, all centering around modern society, freedom, and a very familiar corrupt government. Most of the lyrics on the album will appear as painfully familiar, but if given a chance, they will present themselves as enjoyable. Paint It Black
is the bandís take at the Rolling Stones song, and the presentation of Richardsí lyrics, by Markís vocals go sour in an instant, but if ignored, can show how musically outstounding the guitar-work on the lone, final track is.
A solid rhythmic section is also flashy during the albumís finer moments, all which seem to take place within a brutal closer, or breakdown. Force Fed
is a fine example of how well-placed each component can lie, and also spits out some of the best lyrics on the album. The repetition of this technique on the one-minute-pleaser Flames Have Destroyed
is just a marvel of a true punk revival.
What they feed you, is all lies...
And all you can do is wonder why.
Brainwash the masses with corrupt authority
You're led like puppets on a string
We live in a corrupted world
It's gonna fail, we're gonna die,
Don't read the papers, or watch the news.
Don't bother, don't view.
- Force Fed
The Unseen are simply excellent musicians, and they serve the genre well. Some guests star in a couple of tracks, working as even more fuel for another acrid chorus and marvelously-played guitar solo. The bandís change leading into the new millennium can be foreseen as both a small loss, and a small jump at something different, and something you shouldnít be without on your daily activities; peel and orange, mug your bossÖ
The Unseen- State of Discontent:
Tripp- Bass, Vocals
Scott- Guitars, Vocals
Stand Out Tracks:
Waste of Time
We Are All That We Have
Final Execution (Armageddon)
Paint It Black