Spawned from the same late-'80s New York City East Village scene that produced acts like Helmet and Cop Shoot Cop, Unsane's "noise-meets-hardcore" music always aimed for a heavy and aggressive, but arty, sound, the sound track to urban decay. Unsane did gain some more mainstream notoriety for the MTV-rotated video of "Scrape," which featured cringe-inducing skateboarder accidents. The current lineup of original guitarist/vocalist Chris Spencer (he of the howling scream), bassist Dave Curran and drummer Vincent Signorelli has just released Visqueen on experimental metal label Ipecac, and pounding, crunchy tracks like "Against the Grain," "This Stops at the River" and "Line on the Wall" show that age has done nothing to quiet this power trio. Of course, Visqueen's cover features a bloodied female corpse wrapped in plastic and lying in a field (someone must be a Twin Peaks fanÉ), so in this case you can judge a CD by its cover.
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Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero