|The Unisex - 'Firesoul' (All The Cats Recordings)|
|Written by Russ P|
|Sunday, 14 February 2010 11:04|
The Unisex. Cool name. If your local barber's repertoire consisted solely of a short back and sides then The Unisex is where you went for a little more style. And the band look to have just exited one such salon, so all is well and right in the world.
Album opener 'Firesoul' sounds promising. Great sounding guitars. Slung down low I hope. They've certainly got their groove on. With such an introduction to an unfamiliar band one wonders where they'll go next. Do they step on the accelerator or do they simply cruise? Well, by the third track 'Lost in Translation', I know where they're going. Someone has stolen their wheels and placed breezeblocks under their axels.
The influences of this Swedish band sound decidedly British. 'Human Waste' has first album Radiohead all over it. The way that vocalist Jonas Linde languidly hangs onto his words specifically recalls 'Vegetable' from 'Pablo Honey'. 'Lost In Translation' has some trademark Happy Mondays skanking piano, and 'Fallen Roses (I Just Want To Go Home)' starts off with a skanking verse, this time carried by the guitar and electric piano - appealingly Supergrass-like.
One of my favourite tracks on the album is 'Remind Me' - but a line like "No matter how much you try people will think you're strange" can't help but conjure up the spirit of Jim Morrison, his lyrics being so iconic and timeless. In the same way the chorus of 'Do What You Want' has that strong taste of 'Sympathy For The Devil' or 'Step On'. It's difficult to use those kind of references and make it your own without the ghosts of Christmas past coming back to haunt you.
The Unisex are undoubtably a radio-friendly band and perhaps because of that I find them a little colourless. They don't fire me up, insult me or challenge me in any way at all. They're just there. Pleasant enough to listen to but also not daring me to try and live the rest of my life without ever hearing them again. But that didn't stop Embrace or Travis. So why should it stop these guys?