London Highbury Upstairs At The Garage

[a]Unwound[/a] are the sound of the city. Faintly industrial. An emotional sandblasting...

Not for nothing was Unwound bassist Vern Rumsey a one-time member of Blonde Redhead. Like the cosmopolitan NY trio, Olympia's Unwound mine a similar vein of emotive, taut-nerve hardcore which is oddly beautiful. If, initially, thoroughly intimidating.

Guitarist Justin Trosper is sporting a mean blood-orange shirt. It could do with an iron, mind, but would you suggest that to him when he seems intent on shredding both his fingers and your ears with his jarring guitar breaks? Meanwhile, Vern and drummer Sara Lund hold down the rhythm with a relentless grace, the claustrophobic grooves wrapping tighter and tighter around you.

Unwound are the sound of the city. Faintly industrial. An emotional sandblasting. Justin's vocals schizo-switching between enervated whine and phosphorous, bleeding scream, are the sound of a man who thinks he's the only one who knows the truth. Put simply, it's desperation. The last gasp before the grave.

So yeah, that's Unwound; Sara feeling each struck note, Vern and Justin wrapped together, ramming bass into speaker stack and Perspex guitar into floor, until our ears ring like consecrated belfries. It's exactly what you go to gigs to hear.

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