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Unwound



Unwound is one of the most popular bands to come out of the closely knit Pacific Northwest music scene. Since getting started in the small town of Tumwater, Washington, just outside of Olympia, they've become one of the most revered bands in the indie rock/post-punk world, perhaps just a notch or two below bands like Fugazi and Sonic Youth. Over the course of half a dozen albums and numerous seven-inches, they've done a lot of exploring, including wildly tweaking song structures, playing with jazzy undertones, introducing spoken word samples, employing huge amounts of feedback and distortion, and adding unexpected instruments like alto sax, trumpet, trombone, and even Optigon to their basic bass/drums/guitar setup. But they've always retained their trademark dissonance and abundant nervous energy.

The original trio was singer/guitarist Justin Trosper, bassist Vern Rumsey, and drummer Brandt Sandeno. After recording a couple of seven-inches for Kill Rock Stars and one for Gravity Records, the group recorded a full-length in early 1992, but its release would be delayed until 1995, when Unwound released it on their own Punk In My Vitamins label. In the meantime, Sandeno left and was replaced by new drummer Sara Lund. In 1993, Unwound released their first Kill Rock Stars LP, the seminal and explosive Fake Train. Numerous KRS records would follow, including 94's New Plastic Ideas, '95's The Future of What, '96's Repetition, and 98's Challenge for a Civilized Society. In 1999, Unwound released A Single History: 1991-1997, a collection of songs from a dozen different singles and compilations. Then, in 2001, Unwound returned with perhaps its most ambitious album yet, a double album actually, Leaves Turn Inside You, which sees the group move away from its trademark noise structures and towards a more textured experimental approach which features not only coiled guitars and snaky bass, but layer upon layer of keyboard wash, processed beats, and endless effects.

The beauty of this trio is the way they continuously find new ways of experimenting while never forsaking the art of writing a good song. Like Sister-era Sonic Youth, Unwound makes walls of noise into anthems that burrow into your brain and heart.

"Negated" comes originally from a Troubleman Unlimited seven-inch. "Caterpillar" originally appeared as the A-Side of one of their first Kill Rock Stars singles back in 1991. "December" comes from Leaves Turn Inside You.