Reality does bear out this theorem: The smaller the band, the greater the intensity. Trios have generated some of the loudest, most intense, most volatile squall: Cream, Blue Cheer, Minutemen, Painkiller (John Zorn, Bill Laswell, and ex-Napalm Death drummer Mick Harris), and Hüsker Dü. (Taking the point further: Japan's math-core monsters Ruins have been a duo for most of their existence.) Another combo in that historical continuum is Unsane — the trio's latest opus, Visqueen (on Mike Patton's Ipecac label) is a feverish, brutal onslaught borne on from-the-Stygian-Depths vocals; grinding guitar; undulating, sinewy bass; and firecrackers-exploding-in-metal-trashcans drums. What makes Unsane suitable for mentioning in such heavy company is the focus and resoluteness of its approach. One gets the feeling its members would be fined for playing any unessential notes or ornamentation. If it's deep catharsis you seek (and if not, you oughta), Unsane will make you whole.


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