Totally Unicorn – Dream Life
Out 29th July, 2016
Totally Unicorn Lineup —
Aaron Streatfeild // Guitar
Drew Gardner // Vocals
Kerim Erkin // Guitar
Lee Nielson // Bass
Michael Bennet // Drums
Totally Unicorn Online —
When one hears the phrase ‘Totally Unicorn’ what comes to mind? A glistening white stallion with a horn that is totally better than the rest? A man in a unicorn printed vinyl suit that just replies “totally” to any question you ask? Because for yours truly, what springs to mind is egregious nudity, wine coloured vomit and some of the catchiest math influenced metalcore this side of the equator.
Totally Unicorn have been stomping around the Wollongong/Sydney area for 6 whole years, releasing a myriad of great singles and supporting some astounding bands but it’s finally time for their debut album, Dream Life, to be unleashed in all its eclectic, rainbow glory. If the album art is anything to go by, rest assured you’re in for quite a journey.
Opening track ‘Old Cute and Purified’ begins with a slower than usual tempo, coupled with a heavily distorted bass line but no more than 40 seconds in, the Dillinger Escape Plan influences explode in a shout heavy, guitar screeching climax that powers through the whole song. It’s a strong start and gives an insight into the array of sounds that the listener should be prepared for. Subsequent track ‘Welcome to Slugtown’ is Totally Unicorn through and through; balls to the wall chaos, sporadic tone shifts and throat shredding screams brought to you via Drew Gardner.
In keeping in line with the album opener, catchy introductions are the name of the game, ‘You Smell Like a Trophy’ starts off with some rambling nonsense that you can’t help but want to learn as a monologue (I’m close) and segues into an intense, building peak of Totally Unicorn shouts and gang vocals. The members of Totally Unicorn really know how to craft catchy vocal hooks regardless of whether or not you can understand what he’s saying. This is even more prominent in the first single of Dream Life, ‘Customer Service Station’. The thundering drums and guitar squeals compel you to scream your lungs out until they make their way out of your mouth and get trampled in the dirt.
The variety of influences on Dream Life up until now has ranged from mathcore, metalcore and punk to a massive extent but with interlude of sorts ‘Part Time Model’, it seems they’re channeling Type O Negative. A thick doom laden background is set while Drew Gardner decides to get sultry with us all and mumble oh so seductively “I want to climb in that hole and play with your balls”, and despite what anyone thinks, it works. Totally Unicorn have truly gone above and beyond for the sounds on their debut, and everything meshes perfectly.
Totally Unicorn, being the sonically varied and hilariously enigmatic writers that they are, don’t shirk on the heaviness that they’re known for. ‘Convict Brick’, featuring guest vocals from High Tenison’s Karina Utomo, is one of the most gritty tracks on the album; chaos at its most extreme. However, the eponymous ‘Dream Life’ takes the cake for song of the album. A heavy, stomping doom riff layered over guttural howls with a bridge that sounds like it was lifted from a Moon Bath song, and this is not a negative. Nothing on Dream Life is a negative.
Totally Unicorn’s debut feels like being kicked repeatedly and sporadically in the ears by an angry horse type creature, but then it crouches down, apologises, stands up and just starts pummelling you again. Dream Life doesn’t give a fuck, as long as you’re moshing, naked and drunk, you’ll feel the same way, which is a given when this album is playing.
Dream Life Track Listing —
- Old Cute and Purified
- Welome to Slugtown
- Glow of the Wine Teeth
- You Smell Like a Trophy
- Customer Service Station
- Part Time Model
- Space Congratulations
- Convict Brick ft. Karina Utomo
- Dream Life
- April 29 Brothers
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