Unwound - Leaves Turn Inside You
Kill Rock Stars

The first thing I noticed about Unwound when I saw
them about a month ago was how very, well...almost
normal they appeared.  Maybe normal is not the word,
but un-indie (no pun intended, truly).  This is not a
band that needs to hide or define themselves in any
limited scene or genre.  I imagine they've probably
just outgrown that shit at this point.  You'll find
no trite black plastic glasses, earrings, sideburns,
etc. here.  You'll also find nothing contrived or
cliche about their music.

Unwound's newest album, "Leaves Turn Inside You," is very much a departure from their last LP, "Challenge for a Civilized Society." For this I am thankful. Check any used CD store in Chicago for this pretentiously titled album to see why. "Leaves..." is Unwound trying a great number of new things. For the most part they've abandoned the formula which was responsible for the first four brilliant albums: loud, dissonant guitar layered with sad melodies, aggresive, intricate bass lines, wonderful off-beat drumming and Justin Trosper's desperate vocals. The new direction, though, works very, very well. There are still plenty of hints of this formula but for the most part the songs are much more mellow. Steve Fisk is still there adding lots of interesting effects which often create a beautiful but bleak atmosphere. There is also much more of an obvious Sonic Youth influence here. The songs remain definitely Unwound, however. The new album is one of those which I can only describe as "complex." You have to listen to it over and over to really get it, seeing as there is so much going on that you can't possibly pick all of it up from one or two listenings. My recommendation is if you dig the noisier side of things, in other words Sonic Youth/maybe even Yo La Tengo, you should own this album. If you like Unwound's older stuff you should definitely own this album. Mellow, more thoughtful...yes, but another great release from a band that truly stands out among all the rest.
...steve raparelli...

... new reviews ... archive ...