United Nations

The Next Four Years

Written by: PP on 02/10/2014 23:59:52

It has been six years since the screamo supergroup United Nations were first revealed to us on their self-titled debut album, featuring Thursday's Geoff Rickley at his most volatile and coarse in terms of screaming, and a number of other names from well-established punk/hardcore/emo bands who had to remain anonymous for contractual reasons. That is still the case as we reach "The Next Four Years", their sophomore album, yet little has changed in terms of their soundscape over the years, suggesting it's largely the same troupe behind these eleven tracks.

Album opener "Serious Business" sets the tone for the remainder of the album straight away with its abrupt explosion into straight up powerviolence / original screamo as if you were listening to a classic Saetia record or something. The only difference here is that with Rickley's explosive work with the microphone, the songs are faster, crazier, and definitely more chaotic than the classic late 90s 'skramz' sound as the colloquial term for the genre goes. The guitars are often tremolo-laden, recalling wave-style post-hardcore instrumentation, but just as often they go into stop/start sequences and punk inspired shredding as you'll hear on for example "False Flags". The chaos is almost never-ending, only intermittently interrupted by brief passages of melody, primarily originating from the tremolo guitars, but also occasionally from the semi-clean, haunting delivery by Rickley who continues to defy the odds and having a fully functional throat despite screaming in such a razor-sharp, piercing manner. I mean, if you though the original Alexisonfire records featured raw screaming like no other, then United Nations are sure to offer you a surprise throughout the course of the disc.

There are no real surprises on the disc. Late 90s style scream is constantly referenced and paralleled, occasionally resulting in gems like "Between Two Mirrors" and "Revolutions At Varying Speeds", both of which belong into the absolute elite the screamo genre has seen in recent years. Sadly, the consistency isn't quite there and many times the tracks are simply ultra chaotic - which makes them fun listens especially in a live environment - while lacking a red thread that would make them stick out from the rest of United Nations material. That being said, "The Next Four Years" is still primarily crafted of quality screamo, so for anyone interested in a nostalgia trip down the skramz memory lane there is plenty to see here.

Download: Serious Business, Revolutions At Varying Speeds, Between Two Mirrors
For the fans of: Thursday, The Saddest Landscape, You'll Live, Pianos Become The Teeth, Saetia, Funeral Diner
Listen: Facebook

Release date 14.07.2014
Temporary Residence

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