Two of our most memorable live concert experiences ever happened at Unsane shows in Seattle. This NYC trio originated from the same scene that spawned Helmet, Pussy Galore, Boss Hog and a bunch of other earhole-scraping noise mongers in the early 1990s. Between their Am Rep/Sub Pop label connections and the general loud/heavy/distorted aesthetic, they shared something of a bond with a lot of the early grunge bands of the era. Thus they found their way out to Seattle with some frequency and were (usually) greeted quite warmly. Witness two of our personal highlights: 1) Our first Unsane show set the bar high. Already floored by the sheer relentless force of the horrific sound coming from the stage, it almost seemed normal when lead vocalist/guitarist Chris Spencer turned his head mid-song, projectile vomited off the side of the stage and then continued to sing/play. We're not sure if he'd gotten some bad clams from Ivar's, had a bit too much to drink or, like us, was simply nauseated and queasy by the rotten sound emanating from his band.
2) The next time we saw Unsane, they were opening for Entombed on the Wolverine Blues tour. This was, unfortunately, not Unsane's crowd. People are considerably more open-minded these days when it comes to mixing and matching extreme bands. But back in '93 or '94, the death metal scene in Seattle didn't want to know about Unsane. When the band wasn't experiencing total apathy, it was being heckled. They handled it like champs for the most part, but something caused original bassist Pete Shore to fucking snap mid-set. He threw down his bass, raced into the admittedly thin crowd and got right in the face of his antagonist who (figuratively) rolled over like a submissive puppy afraid to be roughed up by a bigger dog. Mr. All-Talk wanted nothing to do with Shore and the set resumed with no more incidents. Classic.
It is with great excitement, then, that we premiere a new track, "Ghost," from Unsane's upcoming Alternative Tentacles album, Wreck (out on March 20). We've been listening to this bruiser nonstop and can assure you that it perfectly captures the tension, brutality and nervy edge we witnessed in those early live experiences. It's not raw like sushi, it's raw like a skidding-twenty-feet-on-rough-pavement road rash. The kind where you gotta pick rocks out of the bloody mess that was your skin. So, without further ado:
We cannot with any certainty assure you that any of the above sorts of incidents will occur when Unsane are on tour with the Melvins this spring (see dates below), but the band's live sound will not fail to leave an impression. Nor will Wreck. You have been warned.
UNSANE tour dates with the MELVINS
04/11/2012 The Blank Club San Jose, CA 04/12/2012 Great American Music Hall San Francisco, CA 04/13/2012 The Troubadour Los Angeles, CA 04/14/2012 Casbah San Diego, CA 04/17/2012 House of Rock El Paso, TX 04/19/2012 Mohawk Austin, TX 04/20/2012 Warehouse Live Houston, TX 04/21/2012 One Eyed Jack's New Orleans, La 04/23/2012 The Social Orlando, FL 04/24/2012 Double Down Live Gainesville, FL 04/25/2012 The Loft at Center Stage Atlanta, GA 04/26/2012 Amos' Southend Charlotte, NC 04/28/2012 The Note West Chester, PA 04/29/2012 Webster Hall New York, NY 05/01/2012 Turner Hall Ballroom Milwaukee, WI 05/02/2012 Otto's Nightclub DeKalb, IL 05/03/2012 The Firebird St. Louis, MO 05/04/2012 Exit In Nashville, TN 05/07/2012 Trees Dallas, TX 05/08/2012 Santa Fe Brewing Company Santa Fe, NM 05/09/2012 Galaxy Concert Theatre Santa Ana, CA