Challenge For a Civilized Society



by MutnikSpusic USER (1 Reviews)
January 25th, 2013 | 6 replies

Release Date: 1998 | Tracklist

Review Summary: i tried not to mention all the songs, but that was impossible

Unwound is the purest form of danger. Seriously I've scarcely found albums and not even bands, whiches output would consist for a great part of these sort of records, that upon every listen would lead it's listener into one of two dramatically different outcomes, expressed in definate changes in state of mind and emotion. It's like a mad flipping of a coin, where one could win deep peace with unmatched clearsight, devoid of all hylicos traits, or eternal damnation and pain of never finding what one might seek in life, for a while. Word is Unwound was a grandmaster of making these sorts of records, throughout their discography, a lot might interpret, or find themselves change with every listen of the record in question. Results could be summed up in a really dumb binominal chart, but as aforementionned, that would be dumb. Nevertheless, while some people allthrough the 90's were busy making charts, Three folks from Olympia decided to rule the world, by not ruling it, while definitely having a high hand, over some great big mess, that happened to be worldwide. Unyieldingly they made these manichaeistic records on typical thoughts of life and reactions, traps in life, and life not being able to reject parts made bad by dirt, and a bunch of egoistical human beings, but boy the music was good.

Musically "Challenge for a Civilized Society" is nothing short of a mother***er, it's darned quirky. They amassed so many things that were always loveable about the band, but only they took it's essence. That essence was subliminal, or well hidden for the better part, but sometimes showcased like in the end of Next Exit, the middle of Arboretum or pretty much throughout Pure Pain Sugar. This was until Challenge, where they seemed to take further their ways of songwriting, and on Leaves Turn Inside You, they Definitely took it even further. On Challenge the deal is, they accumulated some of their most mind bugging riffs, that would be inethical to like, only they pretty much didn't care about that because, one should have a hard time knocking out Sonata for Loudspeakers out of his or her head, even worse people will associate it with good times, or a bridge to them. Though the band might seem to have lost their knack for writing shorts blasts like murder movies, the form at least is reminesced on NO TECH! which is probably the most mindtangling noise-mini they ever wrote. Let's not forget either, that their previous albums didn't dare having direct to the point songs well written like Laugh Track, that always happens to pull out of the hat a delicious and intriguing melody throughout. If predecessors like corpse pose, sould be blasted in the radio on a daily basis, Laugh Track should be the soundtrack to an ad of a corporation ruining device, next to being antherm for a handful of countries. Data is most revolting, it would even get babies to act, and adults to take a little time for a nostalgia on adolescence, if not to join the babies who by now are wrecking garbage dumps and setting cars aflame while yelling false alarm in their cute baby falsetto. Meet the Plastics is... go listen to Meet the Platics, even if you just have. That song is immensely loveable, yet it is hardest to understand why. The World is Flat singlehandedly makes higher level decisions look like circus attractions. Side Effects of Being Tired has Vern singing, and is very withering, and strangely comfortable, it has some of the angriest, most aggressive textures of the whole album, that are made puzzling by the vocals, that is of course until he stops singing and allows place to a really oppressive segment of the song that drones for a little while, just for the time it burns itself in the listener's mind forever. Lifetime Achievement is a stand alone. It is like their previous slower paced, melodic songs except it has tenfold less distortion, and that much more portrayal, but like Justin mostly does with very few, select words. It's most of a hint of what would essentially compose their final album. What Went Wrong is killer, don't listen to it.

This record is as if Unwound was a writer, putting out essays and books on some of the most shallowing aspects of life, due to the modern nature of times, written mastefully, with a very sober point of view, and most confident about not getting misunderstood. Well this was up to Repetition, Challenge for a Civilized Society wouldn't point out the rot in a little morsel, it's goddamn all encompassing, it clearly shows real evidence, that under modern modern, everything gets spoiled. On "What Went Wrong" Justin sings "To make up your mind. It might take your whole life" not long after someone, or the very same character has recieved a lifetime achievement award,that no one even noticed. As Challenge talks about a pinpoint uniform and dull society, this cleverely hints the stench of death. So this is when one should have the guts to take of the pin or stop the cd or whatever, after "Lifetime Achievement Award", because it's so easy and comfortable, to slip into What Went Wrong, because other than portraying contemporary social schemes with quite a remarkable accuracy, and making hauntingly beautiful and powerful albums, Unwound sort of always manages to make one feel as a thespian in their songs. That witness, or actual subject, that depends on that one's individuality, but it's sure as hell, she or he will be there. This how one can see how disgusting a life can be these days, and try to harness the anger, and get exalted to change everything or pass through the realization of the whole, and let whatever happen. That might be a virtual death, out of which one could come out triumphant, or to what one could succumb. This is how Challenge makes it up to the listener, to influnce, in a little way his outcome for this album. So if Unwound was a writer, this would be his all summing up masterpiece of a book, that frankly should be studied at universities, but instead becomes something of a cult classic. The author who was bulking up his brain and soul for this apocalyptic release, now faces a society that has refused to be civilized, and out of tenace remains the way it was. This is when the author, for the first time in his life does something, in front of the world, something shocking, revered by some for big loads of time, and awkwardly and really beautiful. As planned he passes away in the procedure, as documented on Leaves Turn Inside You.

Now that record might be the most touching and haunting album ever, and it also might end with "Who Cares", oddly enough it got me and a big couple of folks around the world, founding ourselves deeply caring for the band. With a discography as organic and as consistently interesting and carefully chisselled as theirs, it's stupefyingly hard not to. Seriously trust me, I went through the whole thing, and I was tied to my chair.

user ratings (339)
other reviews of this album
joplinpicasso (4.5)
Sarcastic spunk, clever punk, and near-perfect noise symphonies....

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 25th 2013


Not their best and certainly not a 5 in my collection but really great write-up here, anyway, pos'd.

January 25th 2013


Album Rating: 4.0

yo fucking crazy review bruv, could be shortened a bit tho i think. also bunch of misspellings of the word "definitely". album is excellent for sure

January 25th 2013


Thank you guise, i'll try shortening this thingie. I am really biased when it comes to unwound, but band is probably the best thing ever.

April 9th 2014


Album Rating: 4.0

unwound kicks tremendous ass

November 26th 2014


Album Rating: 4.5

never knew vern sang on side effects, always wondered why justin sounded so different lol

September 28th 2015


Album Rating: 4.5

Love when passionate fans of Unwound put up reviews for them

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