Wednesday, 3 June 2015

Oliver: Unsane - Exterminator/Vandal X/AZA 2000 (14 December 1991)


Vandal X

AZA 2000

I stand to be corrected while we tour through 13 years of Peel shows, but one aspect of them that seemed to fade out over the years was the multi-track play.  This was usually Peel taking up some air time by playing three tracks in a row from whichever record was thrilling him most.  The selections were normally from a current record, but in shows on 23 and 24 November 1991, he had played trios from  Mono Men's Stop Dragging Me Down (1990) and Nirvana's Bleach (1989) albums.  Earlier in his career, Peel had played whole sides of albums such as Mike Oldfield's Tubular Bells and had defied an exclusivity order for another radio station to play the whole of Bob Dylan's 1975 album, Desire.  This practice seemed to have died out by the time I started hearing him in the late 90s, but could well have been resurrected for the likes of The White Stripes.  We shall see.

As previously posted Peel was dazzled by the debut album from Unsane, and with a show lasting three hours, he had plenty of scope to give them as much airplay as he wished.  On this night, he played four tracks all of which I would have kept.  One of them, an industrial rocker called HLL isn't available for sharing but I hope you'll like the other three selections.

What's great about these tracks is how they show off Unsane's versatility.  A quality which helped them produce such a stunning album.  From the on manoeuvres opening which falls into the perfect rock storm of Exterminator; the storming punk scream of Vandal X, a tune so good it inspired two Belgians to start their own band (though this guy trumped them all) and finally the inspired proto-grunge of AZA 2000 which rounds off its alt-rock stomp with the perfect sinkhole finish.  What can one add, except to echo Peel himself, "What a band, eh listeners?"

Videos courtesy of arkham1789, 1mullenix and the holy terroriser

PS - to anyone upset over Unsane's cover art on this blog, all I can say is you should see the shots I didn't use. (Contains upsetting images).

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