Untied States | Instant Everything, Constant Nothing

Distile (2010)
By ZETH LUNDY  |  April 7, 2010
3.5 3.5 Stars


Atlanta’s Untied States have arguably the most un-Google-able name in contemporary rock. Which may be the least of their problems, since they’re also on a Paris-based label and routinely bear the “art-rock” tag. Can these dudes get a break? I’ll tell you this: their third full-length is the gutsiest rock record of the still-young year, dissonant and snaking and unpeggably brash. You can call them post-hardcore if that makes you happy, but after listening to the dual guitars spiraling around each other like malleable metal in “Not Fences, Mere Masks” and the jagged chords at the wheel of “Gorilla the Bull,” I’m reminded of Archers of Loaf circa White Trash Heroes or Bends-era Radiohead off their meds. “Unsilvered Mirrors” and “Wrestling with Entropy in the Rehabbed Factory” up the psychedelia quotient with floating-in-space vocals and experimental loops and pianos, but the band’s tack is driven mostly by fuzzed-out algebra. By the time “Holding Up Walls,” the penultimate track, finally introduces some semblance of pop accessibility, the chants of “Let me make it safe” have not been lost on the besieged listener.

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  Topics: CD Reviews , Radiohead, Zeth Lundy
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