"Blood Run"


01. Backslide
02. Release
03. Killing Time
04. Got It Down
05. Make Them Prey
06. Hammered Out
07. D Train
08. Anything
09. Recovery
10. Latch
11. Dead Weight

RATING: 7/10

There's a classic left-brain, right-brain dilemma at work when trying to review UNSANE albums. From a strictly analytical point of view, all their shit pretty much sounds the same — Chris Spencer writes a bunch of harsh, angular riffs and yells a lot over them, and the rhythms are all angular and quirky, and jeez, do you really need more of this? Meanwhile, the other side of your brain is happily beating itself against the side of your skull until it bruises, and peeking out through your eyeholes to see if there are any nearby drugs to ingest or innocent bystanders to kick to death.

UNSANE have perfected the distillation of mean, translated to audio and bled onto plastic. Just as EYEHATEGOD, a band that provokes a similar reaction, distills the dark underbelly of their New Orleans home into their music, UNSANE scrape the calcified sweat, blood and piss from New York's streets and stuff them right into your ear canal with the gentleness of a jackhammer.

"Got It Down" actually shows a little dynamic, slowing down and throwing a lecherous back-alley sneer into a lurching, HELMET-on-smack groove. But lest you think the band has gotten old and slow, "Latch" and "D Train" will knock that notion out of your head right quick. When Spencer howls "get on the fucking train!" he's not asking, and you'd better move, because your only other option is to end up under it.

It could be argued that UNSANE created, and still play, a new form of hyperurban blues — not concerned with changing their style so much as venting the raw angst of living asshole-to-elbow in a smelly concrete-and-asphalt tomb with fifteen million people you hate, and being charged usurious rates for the privilege. The violence in their primal riffs and their feral, teeth-baring screams is palpable, and the anger in every note throbs like an abscessed tooth. The ludicrously blood-soaked panoramas that make up their album art fit perfectly, suggesting the real-life aftermath of bearing the brunt of that much pissed-off-edness.

Having blazed their own snarling noise-rock trail years ago, UNSANE are content to stagger down it one more time, screaming into the post-last-call blackness and stench-ridden humidity, blood in their eyes and bile in their throats. "Blood Run" is intense enough that you won't care how much it sounds like their other records — you'll be too busy dodging bricks and picking up shards of your broken teeth.


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