The Unicorns
Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?


3.0
good

Review

by Scott Herren USER (42 Reviews)
January 16th, 2005 | 102 replies


Release Date: 2003 | Tracklist


The Unicorns are a trio that hail from Montreal, Canada. Their quirky, whimsical style has drawn comparisons to the Flaming Lips. This band is no Flaming Lips, but on Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone", the Unicorns create a wonderful and addictive lo-fi pop record. The lyrics are at times just downright silly, and as their name implies, this is not a band that has it's feet planted too firmly in the ground. In fact three of the first four songs contain references to ghosts in the titles. This is by no means a serious album, but has it's moments of greatness, and is a good pick me up album.

Credits:

Nicholas "Neil" Diamonds - Synthesizer, Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Accordian, Drums, Glockenspiel, Keyboards, Recorder, Vocals, Arp Echoplex, Tape, Drum Machine, Toy Piano, Toy Organ, Melodeon
Deanna Fong - Vocals
Alden Ginger - Synthesizer, Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Accordian, Drums, Glockenspiel, Keyboards, Recorder, Vocals, Arp Echoplex, Tape, Drum Machine, Toy Piano, Toy Organ, Melodeon
Tim Kramer - Cello
Mark Lawson - Mixing

I Don't Want To Die
The songs starts off with some random noises and scratches. Then a piano comes in with some lo-fi vocals. The lo-fi vocals are the main part of the song. They are telling the ways they "don't want to die" and go through listing off different things like in a plane crash, in the ocean, or in their sleep. This is a short song, only 2 minutes, but it is a pretty good opener. 4/5

Tuff Ghost
This is my favorite song off the album. There is a really cool electronic synth riff thing over some dark percussion and keyboards. The blend of clean vocals and lo-fi background vocals is good. When the lo-fi vocals come in for the chorus, that is the highlight of the song. There is just some drums and a repeating keyboard note. The lyrics are a bit nonsensical, although they seem to be about a tough ghost and how he is invincible because he is already dead and people can see right through him. I think that is about the gist of it. Anyway, it is the vocals, and music, and not the lyrics that make this a great song. 5/5

Ghost Mountain
A funky drum beat comes in, and then is replaced by a weird instrument (recorder or some synthesized thing). Anyway, softly sung vocals come in and sing a pretty nice melody. There is an organ accompaniment. The chorus is nice as it is just a toy piano and vocals. The second run through of the chorus with the lo-fi vocals is better I think. This is a good silly song. I'm not following the lyrics, but what I can make out is silly. 4/5

Sea Ghost
There is about a 20 second flute (or some wind instrument) solo at the beginning of this song. Then it goes into a clean electric guitar riff. This is one of the more standard rock structured songs. They sing a pretty good melody on this song. This song uses mostly guitars and less reliance on electronics. It is one of my favorites on the album. 5/5

Jellybones
This is a single of the album, and actually, it isn't one of the better songs, so I don't know why. There is a electronic riff that is really a bit annoying at the beginning. The vocals have some good hooks, but the song overall is too short, and lacks any real meat. It does get a bit better near the end when an electric guitar comes in when they are singing "jelly, jelly, jelly, jellybones", but it is too little too late. 3/5

The Clap
This is a pretty rocking song. The vocals are horrible quality, but they fit the type of song really well. It sounds like a song from one of the million "The" garage rock bands that have surfaced recently, only this is a short, non serious version. Only a minute and 26 seconds. Pretty good song. 4/5

Child Star
The general consensus is that this is the best song on the album. I think it is a great song, but I put it behind some others on the album. The song opens slowly with whispered vocals and just percussion. Then when the organ comes in the songs picks up a bit of pace. To me this song is catchy, but almost too much of a downer. There is a spooky distorted organ solo which leads into a part where guitars take over for a little bit, then they fall to the background as the whispering vocals return. I prefer the lo-fi vocals to these because quite frankly they aren't very good singers. The distorted organ part is really the highlight, and I think this is a good song. There is a part near the end where they argue like kids about stupid stuff, again just being silly. In fact one lyric is just "I hate you. I hate you too. I hate you. I hate you." back and forth. 4/5

Let's Get Known
There is a sample that sounds like it is from a radio broadcast of some sort. Lo-fi vocals and sustained organ notes are the basis for this song. There are some odd lyrics like "look at the ants on the floor. they work real hard lifting three times their mass...and someeeeeeetimmmmmes moooooooore." This is a slower paced song, and rather short so there isn't much to say about it. There is a crazy buzzing sound at the end. 3/5

I Was Born (A Unicorn)
This song has perhaps the gayest guitar riff ever, but for the type of music it is perfect. They are singing about being born a fucking unicorn for Christ's sake. This is a quirky little pop tune. There is another instance of the two vocalists jawing back and forth. This isn't the strongest songwriting in the world, but it's catchy, and that's good enough for me. 4.5/5

Tuff Luff
This song starts with what sounds like one of the Unicorns practicing singing in the distance and singing off tune with some guy yelling "hey" at him. Then the song gets started with an accordian and keyboard. The vocals for the verse are just spoken and then the chorus is sung. What is that in the background" Yes, it's a recorder. Wow, I remember those from middle school. This song is slow developing and at times (most) boring. The highlight is the recorder part. 2.5/5

Innoculate the Innoculus
Here we have probably the best songwriting on the album. The guitar riff actually has some theory behind it, and the keyboard droning creates a nice melody. The lyrics again are about stuff that no other band would ever sing about, something about fatty tissue and muscles and well, lets get back to the music. There is a nice part with some synth effects, then a guitar solo comes in for 30 seconds or so before it goes back to the structure from the beginning. Overall, this is one of the better songs on the album. 4.5/5

Les Os
This song is more upbeat than many of the prior songs. There is a crazy electro riff thing at the beginning and it is joined by fast a paced guitar riff and drumming. Vocally some of the best hooks on the album occur in this song, especially on the "oh, oh, oh, oh, oh" part of the chorus. Near the middle of the song, it suddenly slows down and the vocals turn into how he "wants to die today", which I guess leads into the next song "Ready to Die". 4/5

Ready To Die
This is a simple short song that ends the album on a high note. The song isn't that downbeat, even though the vocals are about how he is ready to die. There is a sustained keyboard riff and a guitar. The song is in a slightly variated major key. He coughs on the vocals at the very end as he sings "I'm ready to die", and it seems to be very fitting of a record like this where nothing seems to be taken too seriously. 3/5

Again, this is a good lo-fi pop record. If you don't like lo-fi, or pop and you buy this record, you take the risk of not liking it. Fans who are serious about songwriting and technical aspects of music probably won't like it, but people who can appreciate that music is not always about the technical, but also about the art can appreciate an album like this.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
BillCosby
November 18th 2004


21 Comments


I didn't like the single, and I probably wouldn't buy the album, but I might check out some of your higher rated picks.

Nice review.

Sep
November 18th 2004


300 Comments


Nice review. Child Star is an alright song.

Tangy zizzle
November 18th 2004


253 Comments


I'd give it 3.9/5 myself.

It's a great little album. A real happy, pick me up record (like Scotty boy mentioned).

I Was Born A Unicorn and Jellybones are the best tracks.

Happymeal
November 18th 2004


330 Comments


I've been meaning to listen to their songs for a while. Maybe later I'll get some. Good review.

RideTheSpiral
December 21st 2004


26 Comments


I liked them until I saw them live.


Nice review though.

Ornery Cephalopod
December 21st 2004


21 Comments


I actually think "Child Star" is one of the worst tracks on the album. Or rather, least good. And "Jellybones" is one of the better (but not quite best) ones.

Vamos Scorcho
June 12th 2005


12 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i give it a 4.5

i really love this cd

the tracks are all cool and unique

and wtf

tuff luff is AWESOME

Zappa
June 12th 2005


355 Comments


This album is the perfect thing to put on when you're sickeningly happy. I don't know what I'd do without it.

br3ad_man
Emeritus
June 12th 2005


2126 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This sure is a nice album.

Med57
Moderator
June 13th 2005


1002 Comments


3.5 is about right for me as well. Really nice music, but lacking something...

Bonzo17
December 27th 2005


92 Comments


i like it

BigRoachy
February 4th 2006


50 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I've been listening to this album like crazy lately for some reason and I've really gotten into it. For that reason I'm giving it a 4.

KILLpeterpan
June 7th 2006


4 Comments


This has been one of my favourite albums over the past few months, there is not a bad song on it.
4/5

nutty_bar
July 12th 2006


194 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I love this CD. IMO, this is indie at it's best. It is a shame these guys aren't together anymore, but atleast the guitarist and bassist stuck together. I would love to see these guys get back together but I doubt it happens. The way they mix "silly" lyrics with serious music is great in a few of their songs.

my hands are tied
October 23rd 2006


16 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i really like this cd!

SotR
October 24th 2006


3 Comments


Reviewing by an album by each song is lame.

Good album though. 4/5

failingraincoats
February 4th 2007


19 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

i read this review and was intrigued and immediately downloaded Tuff Ghost. i loved it! it was weird, but in a good way, and i'm hoping to go buy this c.d. i'll admit, i was a little scared at first mostly b/c of the name The Unicorns but i'm glad i looked into it. thanks for the review, it was good

~*me*~

mortimerjstyles
May 6th 2007


12 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

I don't care about you logic, about why its a lesser album then whatever you hold dear. I care only about how it makes me feel, I live and die by this record, in all of its irreverent and ramshackle glory.

Paiste.Fan.
August 16th 2007


19 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Excellent Album. All you Unicorn fans, hurry and talk up the islands

Bron-Yr-Aur
August 16th 2007


4405 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

islands is good, but return to the sea doesnt come close to this album in all honesty



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