State of Discontent The Unseen
CD Review by Mike D'Ariano / 9/2005

Track listing
1. On The Other Side 2. Scream Out 3. The End Is Near 4. Weapons Of Mass Destruction
5. You Can Never Go Home 6. Dead Weight 7. Force Fed 8. Social Damage 9. Waste Of Time
10. Hit And Run 11. We Are All That We Have 12. Flames Have Destroyed 13. Final Execution
(Armageddon) 14. Paint It Black

Label: Hellcat Records / Release Date: May 10, 2005

I first became aware of The Unseen when I heard their song "Dead Weight Falls" on the most recent Punk-O-Rama CD. I was very impressed with the tune, and stated so in my review of the CD. Then I heard them again on the 2005 Warped Tour compilation, with the song "Weapons of Mass Deception" and was impressed a second time. I decided to investigate them a little more thoroughly, and headed over to the Epitaph Records website. Totally by chance, the day I went looking for info on The Unseen, there was a video press kit on them, right on the Epitaph homepage. I watched it, and by the end, I knew that one way or the other, I needed to get the CD.

What was so interesting in the five minute video? Well there was the fact that the Dropkick Murphys' Ken Casey produced the album. That was a strong selling point. Then there was the fact that Bad Religion guitarist and Epitaph's man in charge, Brett Gurewitz mixed the record. That was good too. Also good were guest spots by Mighty Mighty Bosstones singer Dicky Barret and Rancid co-frontman, Lars Frederiksen. But the final straw was the prospect of owning a hardcore punk rock version of The Rolling Stones "Paint It Black." I ask you, how could I pass that up? So I got a hold of the CD, and wouldn't you know . . . it's great.

There's something about a guy, be he mohawked or not, screaming until it sounds like his voice box is going to tear itself out of his throat and run for its life, that really gets me going. Couple that with some seriously fast and heavy punk rock, and some gang-like screaming backing vocals and you've got one hell of a good record.

The songs I had heard and enjoyed were a good representation of the rest of the album. It's thirty minutes of that, full on AHHHHHHH intensity that I haven't heard since I first discovered Sick Of It All like fifteen years ago. And then it's capped off with the aforementioned Stones cover, which will more than likely make my best of 2005 CD at the end of the year. Imagine everything that was lame about the Rage Against the Machine version of "Street Fighting Man" and then imagine the exact opposite. Man if ever there was a tune that sounded better when screamed and sped up, this is it. Excellent choice&..I wonder what Mick and Keith think.

On a final note, there's one thing you should know if you're the flag waiving type, the band really doesn't seem to be too happy with the current state of our government. They're really passionate about how fucked up everything is and you might find it a little grating. Personally, even though I don't agree 100%, I find it refreshing to hear someone say something because they believe it and not just because it'll help them sell more records in the MTV and Rolling Stone hate the war, so so do I era! Besides, I think it was Tolstoy that wrote, "Do you think it's possible, if one has any feeling, to remain calm in times like these?" Seems appropriate+ I really wanted to quote War and Peace while reviewing an anti-war punk rock album.

Highlights: "Paint It Black," Dead Weight Falls," "On The Other Side/Scream Out,"
"We Are All That We Have"