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(Kill Rock Stars)
Unwound mastered that approach a couple of discs ago; now, with the help of producer/electronics-wiz Steve Fisk, who's manned the board for all of the group's full-lengths, they're moving forward by reaching into the past. Repetition mixes in a dub-heavy instrumental reminiscent of early PiL ("Sensible"), a high-pitched feedback frenzy buoyed by a stark funk backbeat ("Fingernails on a Chalkboard") that recalls Gang of Four's "Anthrax," elegant Tom Verlaine-style guitar lines, and skronk punctuated by synth noise that harks back to the heyday of Captain Beefheart ("Corpse Pose"). The likes of Rancid and Green Day pale in comparison to the challenge of Unwound: this is the real punk rock.
-- Matt Ashare
(Unwound join Blonde Redhead at the Middle East on Friday, May 31.)
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