The Unwound album that ended all Unwound albums. Recorded in a moldering farmhouse basement at the crest of the new century, Leaves Turn Inside You is the no-wave response to Spector’s wall of noise call. Infinite layers of choppy guitar stabs and bridge scrapes, guttural bass thronk, thrift store synths, and monotone chanting wash over suffocating rhythms to deliver the world’s only choral grunge LP. Remastered from the original analog tapes and pressed on heavyweight vinyl for the discerning noise-nik.
An album Maximum Rock 'N' Roll deemed not punk enough to review, Unwound's 1994 sophomore effort was a lethal depth charge aimed at major label grunge and independent hardcore alike. From the off-kilter, vertiginous rhythm of "Entirely Different Matters" to the neck-snapping velocity of "What Was Wound" to the relentless pounding at the end of "All Souls Day," New Plastic Ideas is the Sonic Youth-loving older sister to Fake Train's post-punk-obsessed little brother.
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The climactic entry in our four-set Unwound exploration, Empire compiles the final pair of albums by the Olympia, Washington, trio. On 1998's Challenge For A Civilized Society, the band toyed with conventional verse/chorus form, stacking layers of noise and distraction on top of tightly constructed melodies. They'd abdicate entirely just three years later with 2001's Leaves Turn Inside You, executing a 14-song masterclass in home recording that observed a crucial band in graceful transition from post-hardcore trio to experimental quintet.
As a robust rock underground got swallowed alive by the Major Label Industrial Complex, the very autonomous Unwound - Olympia, Washington's Great Noise Hope - toed the troublesome line between pay check and Check Engine light. Captured in the gaps of a ruthless touring schedule, defining fourth and fifth albums The Future of What and Repetition were issued in the back-to-back springs of 1995 and '96. Both find the band severing their post-hardcore roots, for gripping detours into Echoplex, kraut, D&B, and Mingus, as guided by a sun-worn copy of Book Your Own Fuckin' Life.
No Energy collects both of these 1990s masterworks, beginning with Justin Trosper's home-made haircut stabs on "New Energy," continuing with Vern Rumsey's reanimating bass on "Corpse Pose," and closing in a wall of Sara Lund crash cymbals on "For Your Entertainment." This 33-song collection is buttressed by singles and period live tracks, a pile of double-exposed photographs, and a 10,000 word essay by latter-day Unwound diarist David Wilcox.
The 2nd installment in Numero's exhaustive 4-part Unwound reissue undertaking. This chapter intros the Olympia, Washington, noise-punk trio anew, kicking off with hi-hat thwaks on "Dragnalus" from drummer Sara Lund, whose lockstep partnership with Justin Trosper and Vern Rumsey marked the forging of a 1990s indie-rock legend. The band's advancing threat is captured in 32 tracks, a trove of house-show b&w period photographs, and a vivid 10,000-word narrative by latter-day Unwound diarist David Wilcox.
Rat Conspiracy, its name a one-time working title for Unwound's 1993 debut - the earliest Kill Rock Stars LP - brings the roiling, watershed Fake Train into natural integration with its sibling record, 1994's New Plastic Ideas, on which the band "branch[ed] out into propulsive odd meters...and traumatic contrasts between loud and soft, pulling the arty riffage into much tighter focus." [Trouser Press]. Both get exacting remasters and replica sleeve treatment, while the set's third LP tracks Unwound's restless work toward synthesis with the Mkultra and Negated 7" material, previously unissued radio sessions, indie comp rarities, and the spidery Minutemen cover "Plight."
Kid Is Gone is the unquiet portrait of primal Unwound. Before 1993’s Fake Train ripped through, they’d been Giant Henry, Supertanker, and Cygnus X-1, short-lived black holes gathering dark material into something built to explode. From Justin Trosper, Vern Rumsey, and Brandt Sandeno’s first restive years, “Crab Nebula” might’ve best prepared the indie-sphere for what Unwound became, had Sandeno’s split not stalled their planned debut. Part 1 in Numero’s 4-part reissue project, Kid Is Gone documents signal chaos in Olympia’s fertile scene before Unwound’s turbulent noise hit stride, in unrevealed period photos, 34 tracks, and three LPs—cassette-only demos, early 7”s, a KAOS radio broadcast, material tracked live in a local basement, and all of what became 1994’s Unwound, on which the band’s prehistory plays out in a feral maelstrom of screaming, distortion, feedback, and abrasive promise.