Greenboro NC’s Unifier are set to follow up their debut EP ‘Oh, Great City’ with full- length album ‘Colorado’. Opting for a more commercial approach on ‘Colorado’, the songs on offer sound like a pop hybrid of early Foo Fighters with Alkaline Trio thrown in. What we’re given is songs that are catchy yet not being afraid to be moody and dark at the same time yet don’t veer into the dull and generic territory.
Album opener ‘Crush’ does a good job of getting things off to a good start. Immediately the listener is aware as to what kind of band Unifier are; a rock band with more hooks than a tackle box and lashings of sugar coating. Yes the music is very radio friendly yet it also sounds like it was lifted from the cutting room of a Jimmy Eat World album. To put it simply ‘Crush’ is a fast, upbeat, and pop-heavy guitar orientated rock song.
Second track ‘Traps’ decides to fuse some of the heavier guitar sounds on the album with the more melodic, softer vocals. It’s easy to see why this band has been drawing comparison to bands like Brand New and Alkaline Trio. This track certainly does well to show that Unifier are not afraid to think outside the box, and much like the bands they’re drawing comparison to, are certainly not afraid to push the boundaries of what we would consider a genre.
Fourth track ‘Bitter? Better’ opts for a more melodic affair whilst seamlessly remaining dark and moody. Yet it never comes across as melodramatic or childish, again it’s clear to see these guys know how to push boundaries and then some.
Throughout the album the listener is treated to an array of clever genre-defying oddities whilst at the core of all this there’s catchy as hell guitar work.
Tracks like ‘Colorado’, ‘Shadows’ and ‘Mission Control’ follow the same format as most of the album; they use lush layers of sounds coupled with melody and brilliant guitar work to create tracks which offer something a little different. Whilst this band isn’t afraid of doing things differently, at their core they come across as fully aware as to what makes a great pop-rock song; catchy lyrics, pummelling guitar and melody, bags and bags of it! The music is clever without being pompous and obnoxious, whilst at the same time it’s poppy without sounding too contrived.
Having their album produced by Jesse Cannon (The Cure, Saves the Day, Transit and Basement) certainly has helped. The layers are all built in such a way as to add to the listening experience and do not alienate the listener.
If you’re a fan of ‘The Devil and God Are Raging Inside Me’ by Brand New or ‘Futures’ era Jimmy Eat World then we recommend you check out Unifier. They know how to write a pop-rock track yet also know how to get you thinking a little bit.
‘Colorado’ by Unifier is out now on Autumn and Colour Records and Round Kid Records.
Words by Colin Henderson (@colinah87)