Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Unwound - Live Leaves

Take a deep breath, close your eyes and set the speakers to the limit - Unwound's live set is now ready to be fed into your ears. Recordings from the band's 2001 tour of the US are soon to be released to the public for the first time as 'Live Leaves'; a last document from a band that imploded during their live run in 2001.

Though always brittle and menacing in sound, these recordings capture a darker feeling - the tour ended up being wrapped around 9/11, and the world's paranoia and fear is deep seated in the tense and relentless delivery of each song.

Justin Trosper has said, "Prior to [9/11], we had good energy, but we were still working out how to play the songs as a five-piece. Then, for whatever reason, we rocked hard for like a week in the south. Survival instincts kept us alive for a bit afterward, but during the California leg of the tour we self-destructed, and eventually we decided to cancel our European and Japanese tours."

And as well as holding a tension, the recordings also act as a sonic time machine - you can hear the clinking of beer glasses being thrown away behind the bar, the applause and whistles from the crowd and the introductions from the stage. All that's missing is the sticky floor.

Unwound have always been one of the greats of the 90's post-hardcore scene, and though they may sometimes be overlooked, they are one of the most essential bands on the Kill Rock Stars roster. In the words of Trosper, "if you're an old friend, welcome back. If you're new -- here's to you. Thanks for finding us." May their legacy continue to inspire and to reign.

Stream 'Live Leaves' over at Pitchfork.

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