Totally Unicorn – Sorry (Album Review)

Totally Unicorn – Sorry
Released: 12th April 2019

Totally Unicorn Lineup:

Drew Gardner // Vocals
Aaron Streatfeild // Guitar
Lee Nielson // Bass
Adam Myers // Drums

Totally Unicorn Online:

Facebook
Bandcamp

The changes in both life, and music that bands go through between albums can be fascinating at times. Sorry is for sure the sentiment the morning after a rough night – alcohol and disappointment oozing out of the pores after the raucous, fun-fuelled rave of Dream Life.

Gone is the (when you can discern it) tongue in cheek lyricism, replaced with the bleak and blunt words of a man with only noise and discord rattling in his head. Drew Gardner is not holding back his feelings any longer. ‘Sorry’ begins with a decidedly different tack than we’ve heard before; pulsing electronics and a wrenching dialogue. No fear though, the noise is still heavy and incoming. Spastic energy erupts to close out the song in a compelling as ever fashion. Gardner’s vocals are more refined throughout Sorry, still the same style of ‘is he drunk or is he sober…?’ screaming and shouting, but more distilled.

Bone tingling feedback and acrobatic fretwork is still par for the course here, it’s just much more dynamic this time. Totally Unicorn have always been an interesting guitar band, moments on ‘The Island’ remind me of iwrestleadabearonce in their off kilter application. I can imagine Aaron Streatfeild bending strings like rubber balloons and probably jumping on his guitar like a bounce house instead of actually writing. ‘Prized Pig’ is another highlight in this regard, a swarm of strings devolving into a mess of hardcore riffs and exploded cans of silly string.

Unlike a lot of bands, the bass in Sorry plays such a large part, I couldn’t possibly imagine the album without it. ‘A Song for the Deadshits’ relies heavily on the thrumming work of Lee Nielson; it gives the songs a deeper dimension than most that the bass is being used not just predominately, but in a creative way. Single ‘I’ll Be Fine Now’ is much the same, a rapid departure from what would be considered regular fare for Totally Unicorn, but becomes so believably them after the first listen, because the grungy sludge is so artfully applied.

Upon listening to any portion of the album, it becomes clear that the drums have become more prominent. As the band has used more dynamic instrument relationships this time around, the work of Adam Myers shines like a spotlight on a child gorging himself on cake under a table. ‘Heavy Breathing’ awash with the crash and rumble of unrelenting cymbals and standalone snare, kicking it up a gear every time there’s a musical break. But most impressive of all is album closer ‘Alley (Fucking) Cats,a properly off the wall mish-mash of rolling toms and forceful stop/start drumming culminating in a climax that leaves you feeling as if you just went through your own divorce. Myer’s addition has not gone unnoticed and is thoroughly welcomed in Sorry.

Totally Unicorn have matured like mould on cheese, they’ve gotten sharper; they have a bit more bite, and it’s disgusting to consume. Visceral and emotional in a way that bubbles your blood and stresses your heart. Enjoyable in a way that makes you want to dance but leaves you depressed the next morning. Sorry is a journey into chaotic and tumultuous mind of a band slathering grease paint smiles on their dejected faces and performing for our vapid enjoyment.

Totally Unicorn Sorry Cover

Totally Unicorn – Sorry tracklisting

1. Sorry
2. The Island
3. 33
4. Grub
5. Heavy Breathing
6. A Song For The Dead Shits
7. Good Thanks
8. Prized Pigs
9. I’ll Be Fine Now
10. Alley (Fucking) Cats

Rating: 5/5
Sorry is out now. Grab a copy here
Review by —Dylonov Tomasivich

Revisit our chat with Totally Unicorn frontman Drew Gardner right here

Totally Unicorn 2019 - Photo credit Sandra Markovic2

 

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