i believe that the most important job of musicians is to make something beautiful out of ugliness. to make something ugly, and to call it beautiful. to find it beautiful anyway. to find it gratifyingly wholesome, to find yourself being drawn to it inexplicably, to eat it up like it was the only food that will ever exist again.

i feel whole when i listen to ugly, beautiful music. why? because of REPETITION

my most favorite music is repetitious to an almost inane amount... repetitious riffs, repetitive loops, small building blocks that create larger wholes. patterns. structures. fragile, tenuous connectors build and build... until your mind projects new reasons for the structures to exist, new creations out of the same parts.

i am so, so, so very in love with this album ~

Unwound - Repetition (1996)

a relatively later album of theirs, this album strikes me as more consonant than their earliest releases. to me, it is the most repetitious yet scrumptious, ugly yet beautiful piece of music ever. ever that i have heard, at least. i call it repetitious but it is nothing new for bands to be repetitious in the age of musical genres such as rock and roll, pop, and jazz.

phrases that repeat - small sections comprised of four chords or less - are the very backbone of modern music, and it could perhaps even extend further into history as far back as early Western classical music. of course, Western music is by far not the most all-encompassing exploration of what sound can be - i would much rather look to the East, or, at least to not further develop a paralyzing dichotomoy between both hemispheres, the other musical cultures of the world that are not contained in "the West," in order to find explorations of sound that most closely align with my own.

Unwound's brand of sharp, harsh sound that sounds like it could brutishly bulldoze over entire countries actually makes me swoon. it doesn't happen to be because of the abrasiveness but because of the softer, more melodious moments that peek through, as sunlight does through a curtain. i live for these multifarious framings of what feels like pure, unadulterated bliss. beauty is bliss, or maybe ugliness is bliss, or maybe this sound just resonates with something in me and i feel so very much like it is what i was meant to listen to...

and now i listen, for the first time, to an earlier album of theirs ~

Unwound - New Plastic Ideas (1994)

here we are with an earlier album. upon this first listen i am noticing the rawness that comes with the purity of beginnings, along with hints at what was to come - their culminating effort and i think ultimate magnum opus is their 2001 album Leaves Turn Inside You. mmm... words can't describe THAT album! but, alas, that is for another time.

please recommed me some more post-hardcore melodic yet noisey bands!? i already love Lowercase, and of course Unwound, and then Polvo and people like Kolya and of course Slint, but what else is there? i love bands that have screaming vocalists but i think a trend in my favorites i just listed actually contain not exclusively screaming vocalists, but rather heartfelt and confident voices that speak of abstract things, absurd things, meaningless yet the most meaningful things.

does everything/anything have to make sense?


  1. Drive Like Jehu? Both albums are perfect in different ways and Luau is one of those songs that sounds like the greatest thing ever written everytime you play it. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=76_MhUCoEOM There was a pretty good documentary podcast a while back, which was funny at least in reminding just how badly people communicate with each other (interviewed individually, there was that repeated refrain that no, each member had not actually discussed these things that really upset them at the time with the rest of the band). http://vishkhanna.com/2015/10/08/ep-217-do-you-compute-the-story-of-drive-like-jehu/

    Shipping News’ Flies the Fields has my favourite post-Rodan moments. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jEHR8e0RUu0&list=PL71934747FB39D414
    Untitled w/drums is beautiful with a few lines that always stick in the mind. There always sounded something missing from June of 44.

    Of other Louisville bands, I quite like Bastro but they’ve always felt a different strand to the others you’ve listed, they don’t give the same feeling, for want of better words. They group more with the likes of Bitch Magnet in my mind. I prefer Diablo Guapo to Sing the Troubled Beast. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ddhJ9bGlf0

    Tar’s Over and Out lacks an edge but has some good moments: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cOJ5-6JzGZU&list=PLipXetE7qqBYB6c9awUdmzxg66Aqsc2JL

    I have a tenuous grasp at best on genres, so will leave it there before it goes all over the place. I find it hard to group Unwound’s sound with other bands, but like what you wrote about them. That feeling of release you get when completely immersed in a track is everything music can be. One of my favourite earlier tracks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mijdgL5_zh0

  2. hey i responded to you on your last.fm but i don't think you ever check that or go on it.

    i have tried and tried to like that particular DLJ song but i always just end up liking "Caress" better.

    hadn't heard that particular Unwound song before, it's really pretty!