Unpersons III

Shakespeare wrote, "A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Well, the old bard sure wasn’t talking about metal, where first impressions are everything and how cool a name looks on a shirt can make or break a band, regardless of talent. But hold on, while the Unpersons may be battling it out with label-mates Cream Abdul Babar for the right to change their name first — and did we really need another "un” band? — III is an exceptional album. Laden with the hopelessness and despair of hatecore heroes Eyehategod and Buzzov*en, Unpersons are a gritty, dirty musical plague ravaging the listener. III, their second full-length, weaves melodic Southern-style guitar leads (almost Down-ish) with Sabbath-ian sludge, jagged old school hardcore punk, the neurotic spasms and discordant nature of the Jesus Lizard, the weirdness of the Melvins, the unrelenting stomp and abrasion of vintage noise rock, and complex start-stop palpitations and oddness reminiscent of a less metal Botch or the National Acrobat. Too much namedropping? A synopsis then: the Unpersons have crafted a truly harsh and excellent album out of incongruent but rocking aggressive influences that somehow makes sense, after a couple of listens anyway, and despite their name (yikes!) dominate all. (At A Loss)