Thursday, October 06, 2005

Unwound, II (MN: 25)



Unwound- A Single History

Records are made to be broken. I don’t want to write about the relative shoddiness of odds n’ ends comps every time I listen to one, but I do so because they’re never as good as a full-length. I buy as many as I do, though, for the same reason I rooted for Luis Castillo, Jimmy Rollins and Johnny Damon (twice)- I wanna find one that maintains quality throughout without laying a few goose eggs.

‘A Single History’ starts off with a bang, enough to get me all psyched, thinking that Unwound was going to be able to pull it off and beat DiMaggio. The early stuff fits right in with the tracks that are found on ‘New Plastic Ideas’ and ‘The Future Of What,’ the most solid and least experimental of the band’s catalogue, where everyone in the act is on the same stylistic and sonic page. As much cohesion as a proper studio album.

The second half falls apart, alas- there’s brass, which was in vogue for a few minutes, probably because of the Nation of Ulysses. The songs featuring said that brass symbolize the beginning of the end- uneven production values and meandering ‘experiments’ (although Unwound gets points for the title of the longest, most experimental song: The Light At the End Of The Tunnel Is A Train. Bravo!) I thought that they might actually pull it off, and they kept my interest for a good long while, but having a consistently good comp album still remains the untouchable gold standard.

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