The Mason's Mallet by The Unit Ama

Limited Vinyl LP £9.99 TUF001

Limited LP on Tusk Records, Recorded live @ Tusk 2012!.

  • Limited edition
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The Mason's Mallet by The Unit Ama
2 reviews. Write a review for us »
9/10 ReviewBot3000 03 July 2013

Here’s a surprise from a band I thought was long-gone. I’m sure I saw The Unit Ama supporting Fugazi years ago, and they did that one LP with the awesome packaging on Gringo and then vanished into the night, only to reappear recently for a series of gigs including last year’s Tusk festival, from whence this live LP has emerged.

They burst into opening jam ‘Sycamore’ at such a pace that someone else in the office familiar with the band questioned whether it was at the right speed, and then proceed to lay out three sprawling tracks over the course of the LP which tread curious paths between churning post-hardcore, hypnotic krautrock, free psychedelia and weird minimal noise experiments.

The Unit Ama are/were always an impossible band to pin down, just as comfortable floundering in cheeky minimal sound art as knocking out heavy Bitch Magnet/Unsane riffs, most likely in the space of a single song. As this LP demonstrates, they were no less playful, free and urgent the second time around and well worth investigating whether or not you were there.

(Edit - I was there and they totally killed it! - Ant)

9/10 MCL 24th July 2013

The Unit Amamay be a group may only be an intermittent concern, but for those who've been fortunate to see their ferocious performances will know that they remain one of Newcastle's best secrets. Having come out of hibernation for 2012's Tusk Festival, that comeback performance from the ultra-power-trio has now been pressed on was as The Mason's Mallet.

Over the three tracks that make up the album, they set out their stall as energetic explorers of the space between the conventional and the free-form, shifting between blazing math-rock, intense minimalism and free-form John Zorn implosions. This could be piecemeal, but the way they blend these aspects together and flow between sections shames both our typical indie rock band that pretends the same old is the real new thing and the avant-bores that forget that experimenal music can also be, y'know, fun.

If you've not seen them live yet, this is a brilliant sampler of one of the best shows out there. And if you have, then why the hell haven't you bought this yet?

(P.S. Just to add the cherry to the top: dudes seriously know how to rock a suit.)



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