From Isolation records UK... Reviews January - March 2021
"Music of the Pandemic. It's going to go down in history as a particular genre and a bloody fascinating one at that. It was so interesting last year to see how the albums being released reflected the times: many of them were downbeat, doomy and pessimistic; some were wildly escapist and fantastic; a few bands even carried on as if nothing was happening. TBWNIAS's Unsemble will undoubtedly come to be considered as one of the more esoteric offerings from the crisis; a collection of sounds that reflect beautifully the destruction wrought on society by the COVID plague, emerging as disjointed and harrowing as would any album recorded in six different locations by different members of the band as they went into hiding between March and April 2020. The first four tracks here (all are titled 'Unsemble') stem from a seven minute drum onslaught recorded by John Westhaver on an Android phone to which each member of the band added their own contributions with whatever recording equipment they could lay their hands on. The resultant 'Unsemble I' was then remixed by guitarist Bill Guerrero into 'Unsemble II', 'Unsemble III' and 'Unsemble IV'. The initial recording and the drum track were then sent to Christopher Laramee (Wasted Cathedral) to be used as a basis for an original piece of work for collaboration, and from this emerged 'Unsemble V'. The result is an intriguing collision of ideas in sound. The opening salvo of 'Unsemble I' is smothered freeform jazz, desperately attempting to emerge into the light and pretty much failing. It's a bloody marvellous eight minutes for those of us who like some disconnection and deconstruction in our listening, and the other four tracks are as gloriously incoherent. 'Unsemble II' is disassembled rock, interpersed with random dialogue that gives it a human face despite all of the voices being overwhelmed by waves of crushing sound. The guitars that howl at the end are particularly effective. 'Unsemble III' beats away blankly until it knocks itself unconcious, while 'Unsemble IV' grinds, rattles and mourns whilst it hammers at your brain. 'Unsemble V' is particularly disturbing as dystopian commentaries are overlaid on music that is twisted into random waves of threatening sound. This is great work. You won't find a better half an hour that serves as a dairy for the year of lockdown. After appearing as a cassette last year on Misophonia, a vinyl version has now been produced by Cardinal Fuzz in a limited run of just 150 in a heavy matt card sleeve. Move heaven and earth to get hold of one."