United Nations

United Nations

Written by: TL on 02/10/2008 13:05:28

What is United Nations? Well apart from the world-spanning organisation you all know, it's also the moniker for a new side-project supergroup, officially consisting of Geoff Rickley (Thursday) and three anonymous contributors. Anonymous because Rickley until recently was the only one who wasn't bound by contract from appearing for another band than his own. Unofficially, it is however widely known that Daryl Palumbo (Glassjaw, Head Automatica), Ben Koller (Converge), Christopher Conger (ex-The Number 12 Looks Like You) Eric Cooper (Made Out Of Babies) and Jonah Bayer (The Lovekill) are also collaborating on the project.

The band has proclaimed that they're an "emo/grindcore/power violence" project, and as such the sound of "United Nations" doesn't seem overly surprising to start out with. The production is kept.. well.. shitty, while the large part of the album rumbles by with frenzied guitars and drums providing a base for Palumbo's marauding screams. The noisefest is variated throughout though, with more tranquil experimental parts within which Rickley injects his characteristic clean vocals, providing more memorable fixpoints for your mind to cling to before the band takes you out into yet another manic shitstorm of jagged riffage and furious drumming.

Despite how unthinkable it is, considering the lineup of this band, I feel I must speak of some issues I do however have, while listening to this record, as they are after all substantial. First off, I wasn't kidding when I said the production is shitty. I'm sure it's on purpose considering the "grindcore" label and all, but at times I feel like it comes close to destroying the album in a "City By The Light Divided"-manner. During the craziest parts of some songs, where all instruments are being hammered violently, the sound is simply just a bit too blurry, and it's a damn shame when it's preventing you from appreciating the awesomeness of for instance the screaming, which is otherwise excellent. Another problem is that the contrasting crazy and clean parts don't always compliment each other as much as they could. It is as if both could be great if they were left a bit more room to grow in, but again, courtesy of the grindcore definition, things are torn to shreds pretty much before they have time to leave a lasting impression. As such, the violence never becomes as intense as for instance that of Converge, and the emotion never becomes as urgent as that of Thursday, and what's left seems like a weird freak-child of both.

All in all, "United Nations" is an album that, due to its frenzied nature and the marriage between the distinct contributions of it's creators, merits more than a good deal of spins, as it is without a doubt a fascinating and interesting sonic venture for any listener. However, the grindcore ideology by which it is pieced together ensures that only those who value the untimely destruction of all sense-making things will keep returning to the record in the future. So that's it. If you're turned on by the thought of a record where the musical elements are at all points threatening to tear the cohesion to pieces, then this is one for you. If not, then give it some play-time anyway, just don't expect it to live entirely up to the names behind it.

Download: The Spinning Heart Of The Yo-Yo Lobby, The Shape Of Punk That Never Came
For The Fans Of: Thursday, Glassjaw, Converge, Refused
Listen: myspace.com/unitednations

Release Date 09.09.2008
Eyeball Records

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