I obviously wasn’t quite as much a fan of Unsane as I thought. If I had been, then surely I would’ve been aware of this short lived side project featuring lead vocalist and guitarist Chris Spencer. Alas, my credibility has been dashed FOREVER! Anyhoo, terrible reviewer issues aside, Dissent is the first new material from The Cutthroats 9 since the reactivation of Unsane in 2003.
Opening track Speak is a grinding track that showcases the Unsane vibe that will obviously seem prevalent. It’s a bit more grooving and rocking than Unsane, but the tell-tale guitar tone gives it away. It’s a hooky little number, and mixes massive low end with a catchy main riff. Trouble has another great driving riff holding it together. It’s a catchy noise rock anthem, overlaid with a delicious atonal guitar melody.
Eraser has a fantastically down tuned riff, dragged up from the depths by the roar of vocalist Chris Spencer. His voice is harsh but totally clear, and it sits well within the distorted noise rock mayhem. Hit The Ground churns and thrashes with barely restrained ferocity. The songs all sound similar, but not in a bad way. It’s more of a relentless grinding churn of your mind; scrambled brain cells and wrecking neck muscles.
Dissension is a slower assault, beginning with twisting acoustic strings before dropping out into a stoner jam. Well, it probably would be a trippy jam without the fearsome bellow over the top. Spencer keeps the record together, his voice a lone constant in a maelstrom of churning noise rock and bottom heavy riffage. We Could is a storming bluesy monster; replete with slamming guitar bends, it’s like Clutch on a pissed off day. The raging blues/noise rock is made perfect by the brief smattering of harmonica.
Dissent ends all too soon with the melodic Induction. Well, more melodic and reserved than the previous at least. It’s a track with much more subtle dynamics than the more bludgeoning tracks, but no less effective for it. Dissent is a quality record of noise rock mixed effectively with a much more bluesy rock and roll style. My main gripe is it’s too short. At 26 minutes, it’s just starting to really become something special when it ends. Hopefully we can get another release sometime in the not too distant future to scratch this itch once more.
Scribed by: Sandy Williamson