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Unwound

Forming in 1991 in Olympia, Washington, Unwound developed their tumultuous and sublimely noisy sound in the shadows of the exploding grunge movement. Annexed to the less mainstream channels of indie releases, low-budget touring, and a circuit of basement and underground shows, Unwound still managed to create some of the more influential and lasting work of their era, with their cloudy moods and explosively tense group dynamics culminating in some truly transcendent albums.

The group originally consisted of guitarist/vocalist Justin Trosper, bassist Vern Rumsey, and drummer Brandt Sandeno. The trio toiled for several years locally, recording two singles for Olympia-based label Kill Rock Stars and one for Gravity Records before recording a full-length album in 1992. The album would be shelved until a few years later, primarily due to Sandeno's departure from the band shortly after its recording. Sandeno was replaced by former Witchy Poo member Sara Lund, who had recently migrated to Olympia from her home in Bloomington, Indiana. Lund's staccato rhythms and unique style gelled perfectly with Trosper's melancholic feedback squalls, and the band quickly set to work writing new material.

The first set of songs to materialize became 1993's Fake Train, the first Unwound album to actually see release, as well as the first full-length release on Kill Rock Stars, which had been issuing mostly 7"s up until then. Unwound's mixture of dreamy textural guitar haze and venomous punk catharsis caught on and they quickly set out on what would become years of constant touring, opting for all-ages shows as often as possible. Albums came quickly for much of the band's lifespan, including 1994's New Plastic Ideas, 1995's The Future of What, 1996's Repetition, and 1998's Challenge for a Civilized Society, as well as a slew of singles, EPs, and various side projects happening at the same time as the ever busy Unwound. In 1995, their growing popularity led to enough demand for their long-canned 1992 album with Sandeno to see its release on Rumsey's Punk in My Vitamins? label.

Unwound's constant creative output saw them incorporating more expansive ideas into what would be their last studio album, 2001's Leaves Turn Inside You, which took what had been stylistic flirtations with non-punk elements like synthesizers and free jazz saxophones on recent albums into more daring places of composition and production. For the subsequent tour, which lasted through 2002, the band expanded its lineup to include additional guitarist David Scott Stone, as well as bringing back original drummer Sandeno to play various instruments as specific songs required them.

The band broke up on April 1, 2002, leaving behind enormous amounts of material that would trickle out in the years to come on various live releases and collections. In 2013 the members of the band licensed their back catalog to the Numero Group, which set about work on a series of elaborate reissue box sets, each chronicling key periods in Unwound's development with extensive liner notes, unreleased material, and repackaging of their original albums. These sets began with 2013's Kid Is Gone, which collected the earliest, rawest demos, radio sessions, and singles the band had to offer from its basement days with Sandeno. Two more volumes arrived in 2014; Rat Conspiracy collected Fake Train, New Plastic Ideas, and singles released during their earliest days with Lund, and No Energy focused on the mid-'90s period that found the band offering The Future of What and Repetition. Numero Group closed out their Unwound reissue series in September 2015 with Empire, which collected Challenge for a Civilized Society and Leaves Turn Inside You, along with relevant singles, demos, and unreleased studio masters. ~ Fred Thomas
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Kid Is Gone

1. Bionic

2. Antifreeze

3. Understand & Forget (KAOS Session)

4. LD-50

5. Rising Blood

6. Miserific Condition (KAOS Session)

7. Lying At Best

8. Understand & Forget

9. Against (KAOS Session)

10. Stumbling Block

11. Fingertips

12. Ape Skins (KAOS Session)

13. Whilst You're Ahead

x

Track List: Challenge For A Civilized Society

1. Data

2. Laugh Track

3. Meet The Plastics

4. The World Is Flat

5. Sonata For Loudspeakers

6. No Tech!

7. Side Effects Of Being Tired

8. Lifetime Achievement Award

9. What Went Wrong

10. Bonus Track

x

Track List: Unwound

1. Antifreeze

2. Rising Blood

3. Understand & Forget

4. Fingertips

5. You Bite My Tongue

6. Stuck In The Middle Of Nowhere Again

7. Warmth

8. Prospect

9. Kid Is Gone

10. Kandy Korn Rituals

x

Track List: The Future Of What

1. New Energy

2. Demolished

3. Natural Disasters

4. Re-Enact The Crime

5. Equally Stupid

6. Pardon My French

7. Descension

8. Accidents On Purpose

9. Petals Like Bricks

10. Vern's Answer To The Masses

11. Here Come The Dogs

12. Disappoint

13. Swan

14. Full Explanation Of Answer

15. Excuse Me But Pardon My French

16. Bonus Track I

17. Bonus Track II

x

Track List: New Plastic Ideas

1. Entirely Different Matters

2. What Was Sound

3. Envelope

4. Hexenzsene

5. Abstraktions

6. All Souls Day

7. Usual Dosage

8. Arboretum

9. Fiction Friction

x

Track List: Fake Train

1. Dragnalus

2. Lucky Acid

3. Nervous Energy

4. Valentine Card

5. Kantina

6. Were, Are and Was or Is

7. Honourosis

8. Pure Pain Sugar

9. Gravity Slips

10. Star Spangled Hell

x

Track List: A Single History 1991-1997

1. Mile Me Deaf

2. Broken E-Strings

3. Totality

4. Mkultra

5. Seen Not Heard

6. Caterpillart

7. Miserific Condition

8. Everything Is Weird

9. Negated

10. Said Serial

11. Census

12. Plight

13. Stumbling Block

14. Eternalux

15. New Radio Hit

16. The Light At The End Of The Tunnel Is A Train

17. Crab Nebula

x

Track List: Further Listening

1. Sonata For Loudspeakers

2. All Souls Day

3. Scarlette

4. Envelope

5. Corpse Pose

6. Laugh Track

7. Dragnalus

8. Look A Ghost

9. Mkultra

10. Rising Blood

11. Arboretum

12. December

13. Descension

14. New Energy

15. Message Received

x

Track List: Leaves Turn Inside You

Disc 1

1. We Invent You

2. Look A Ghost

3. December

4. Treachery

5. Terminus

6. Demons Sing Love Songs

7. Off This Century

Disc 2

1. One Lick Less

2. Scarlette

3. October All Over

4. Summer Freeze

5. Radio Gra

6. Below The Salt

7. Who Cares

x

Track List: No Energy

Disc 1

1. New Energy

2. Demolished

3. Natural Disasters

4. Re-Enact The Crime

5. Equally Stupid

6. Pardon My French

7. Descension

8. Accidents On Purpose

9. Petals Like Bricks

10. VernEs Answer To The Masses

11. Here Come The Dogs

12. Disappoint

13. Swan

Disc 2

1. Message Received

2. Corpse Pose

3. Unauthorized Autobiography

4. Lowest Common Denominator

5. Sensible

6. Lady Elect

7. Fingernails On A Chalkboard

8. Murder Movies

9. Next Exit

10. Devoid

11. Go To Dallas And Take A Left

12. For Your Entertainment

Disc 3

1. Corpse Pose (Single Version)

2. Everything Is Weird

3. Seen Not Heard

4. Next Exit (Alternate Version)

5. Mkultra

6. Usual Dosage

7. Swan (Alternate Version)

x

Track List: Repetition

1. Message Received

2. Corpse Pose

3. Unauthorized Autobiography

4. Lowest Common Denominator

5. Sensible

6. Lady Elect

7. Fingernails On A Chalkboard

8. Murder Movies

9. Next Exit

10. Devoid

11. Go To Dallas And Take A Left

12. For Your Entertainment

Comments

Report as inappropriate
My favorite band of all time! Bar none!
Report as inappropriate
Unwound wrote the blueprint for a lot of these bands now...with their brand of experimental noise and spatial lyrics. They will be appreciated later.
Report as inappropriate
I gave this a thumb up. Eh why not
Report as inappropriate
Incredible how well Unwounds art has held up. Wordy McDitto on lots of the comments below.
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One of the best bands ever.
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F**king amazing band!
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unbelievably underrated band!
Report as inappropriate
sounds like moss icon. at least MKultra
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one of my top ten Bands of all time. Sara Lund, best Female drummer ever.
Report as inappropriate
No.
Report as inappropriate
Great band. Period. F everyone who doesn't think so
Report as inappropriate
Crap
Report as inappropriate
tpuerzer
unrest?
Report as inappropriate
bromide01
WWWWWWWWWWWW W W E R R R R R R R R R R R R R R R WERRRRRRRRRR R R R W E R R R R R R R R R R W E RERRRRRRRRRR !
Report as inappropriate
your mom's abrasive
Report as inappropriate
xbeastmanx
It's a fugazi Fugazi.
Report as inappropriate
One of my favorite bands of all time. Unwound reminds me of real rock n roll minus the bullshit.
Report as inappropriate
best band ever, still sounds great, ahead of their time for sure.
Report as inappropriate
Fugazi? Holding my nose making a face. "What is that smell?"
Report as inappropriate
This was my punk staple in the 90s (They still are a staple hehe). So glad they were around back then. Got lucky enough to see them in San Diego once; it was incredible!
Report as inappropriate
$ick $hit! if you don't get it I don't like you
Report as inappropriate
Pretty f**king good band.
Report as inappropriate
Favorite indy band in the 90s!
Report as inappropriate
warehouselov e 7 5
Pretty good stuff man.
Report as inappropriate
a band to grow up with
Report as inappropriate
it is no surprise. Unwound is the mount everest of punk. what a steep mountain any band would have to climb. this is a great band.
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THE ALL MUSIC GUIDE REVIEWS SUCK!!!
Report as inappropriate
i like this music having never heard it before
HOWEVER it is BY NO MEANS the "most musicaLLy
abrasiVE band in the indie rocK worLD"
PLE-E-E-E-A- A - A - A - S - E ! !
does the person who wrote that actuaLLY
LISTEN to much indie roCK?
and aLSo pLease define "indie roCk"
or kiLL me.
Report as inappropriate
tsjmaloney
Despite having listened to plenty of hardcore/pun k / r o c k bands over the years, I've never paid much attention to Unwound, and I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised.

Still, though; "Perhaps the most musically abrasive group in the world of indie-rock.. . " ? Yeah, right. Maybe if you disregard all the musically abrasive groups in the world of indie-rock.
Report as inappropriate
bromide01
Uh, last time I checked it didn't say "Leave only a positive comment about this artist." So, go watch Family Guy and leave me alone.
Report as inappropriate
ive never heard them before today. i love what i hear.
Report as inappropriate
never had the pleasure to see them play live. leaves turn inside you was my all time favorite in 2001. f**king masterful band. still kicking myself for not walking less than five blocks to see them play for (what i didn't know back then) would be their last tour. still waiting for justin to release some kind of new material.
Report as inappropriate
lyretree
Yeah, amazing live in Chapel Hill, too. Never really got so enthusiastic about sitting around the house and listening to them on disc.
Report as inappropriate
bromide01
Each time I used to listen to Unwound, I was like, "Hmmm, is there anything else to listen to? No? Oh, ok I guess I'll just let it play."
Report as inappropriate
I had the pleasure of seeing Unwound in NYC on more than 10 occassions and every time was better than the last.
Report as inappropriate
Unwound is highly unappreciate d and completely unique in their design.

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