Thursday, 1 September 2011

REVIEW One Unique Signal - Hey Alchemist / Neuralgia (Genepool)

One Unique Signal smashed straight into my foveal vision with their first full length album Tribe, Castle & Nation back in 2007, every year they have managed to put out one essential release every year, be it a two track download or longer EP (the Dismemberment ep, we at NFR put on the release party for. Hands up, I claim conflict of interest - I already love this band).  Just ten seconds into any of their songs will illustrate why it took me approximately two seconds from receiving Nick's email to hitting the download link:  A gritty grey-skied UK version of A Place To Bury Strangers apocalyptic noise walls mixed with Wooden Shjips psychedelic strung out eye-ball blazing transcendence. Plus those textbook touchstones when piling the sound high - MBV, J&MC, Sonic Youth;  Whilst they are less heavy on the sheer volume than APTBS (but they do play ceiling collapsingly loud), they are no less intense, making up for painful levels with layers and layers and layers of textural guitar pulse, ebb & flow, drone and agonisingly ecstatic incremental shifts in the riff structure; there's the soul and distortion of those aforementioned bands, then then weight and nuance of a band like Sleep lurking about in there. Bass lines that possess your body, drum beats that replace your heart consuming your body's synchronicity and marching it around in thrall to the all consuming rhythm - and if that doesn't get you the sheets of guitar will envelop and constrict you into submission.

Some of you may get turned off on repetition, some of you might have just had all your switches flipped to On. Well, some of you Lose.  To paraphrase Ripley Johnson's comments in the recent Stool Pigeon interview; the riff doesn't stop you just lock into it from the continuum in which it exists and morph it to your own requirements and desires, bend it to your will, release yourself to it, into it and with it, and that's exactly what One Unique Signal do: Bad ass, killer zoned out/zoned in synapse-frying head-rush mind-fuck trance

This new EP is being released by Genepool who have released four of the band's six releases - the other two being self-distributed downloads.  This EP is two songs, the 6 minute Hey Alchemist! and the 7 minute Neuralgia - The melding of neurology and alchemy being this bands signature sound in a nutshell.  The first track drops straight onto the riff, leading with a snarling brute downstroke that drives forward with malicious momentum boiling to a finish of feedback and warped vocal loops.  The second track is more limber, elastic and loose, the Raw Power rock and roll of The Stooges stretched out and rolled over and over until the whole band stops it dead, leaving you suddenly alone in the empty cosmos of silence feeling all insignificant and quiet against the vastness of sound that just dumped you. Until you press play again and the whole thing picks up where it left off ad infinitum.

No links, previews, or edits to tease you with for this release, you'll just have to take my word for how good it is.  Head over to the bands website to download their previous free eps for a taster and order this from the label now. Digitally released on 5th September for just £2 from iTunes, the Ltd Ed 7" will be out on Oct 3rd on GenepoolThere is also an interview with Nick about said single on The Blog That Celebrates Itself, here.  

On top of that there's an essential date for Brightonians diaries - OUS play the Prince Albert in Brighton on the 18th September with The Telescopes - another key influence to their sound and a band they have been working closely with as promoters and producers for the last couple of years.