Unsane – Newcastle – live review

Unsane / Big Business / Tide of Iron
Newcastle,  Trillians
6 July 2012

New York metal band Unsane put on a show for Newcastle full of brutal energy and powerful noise. 

What a line up for a show that had been highly anticipated in Newcastle, noise rock legends Unsane coming to our humble city. Before they graced the stage, we had two fantastic supports, the first of which was Newcastle’s very own Tide of Iron.

This is a three piece that make a noise of so much magnitude it’s hard to comprehend. Chord heavy bass lines compliment the inventive guitar work to make a sound both dense and brutal. Drummer/vocalist Rob adds that extra bit of menace to their sound with harsh vocals and complex drumming style. No song last longer than two minutes and they never need to. Short bursts of pure, unadulterated noise rock. It’s perfect.

Next up, it’s Big Business, who described themselves as a ”˜stoner metal/stoner rock’ band. I can see why. Slowed down metal riffs never sounded so good. Although they aren’t the slowest band in the world, they still have a subdued approach to their genre. Tonight, Jared Warren has the loudest bass sound I’ve ever experienced. I could feel it in my chest with every note. It was incredible. Powering through a set full of humour, silly jokes and most of all, brilliant music.

I can’t help but think that they sound like a less focussed Melvins. Coming to a close, the set descends in madness as both bassist and guitarist kneel down on the stage chanting into their microphones while the crowd stand there and enjoy it. I’ve heard some people say Big Business were the band of the night. I don’t know if that my opinion, but I know for sure I enjoyed watching them play.

Even though my ears were pounding already, I was ready to give them a little bit more of a battering (or let Unsane do it). The New York City trio take to the stage to a swarm of appreciative hand claps from the crowd. Let me briefly explain this venue. It’s a fairly small ”˜rock’ bar underneath the centre of Newcastle. There are pillars all around and space from the stage to the bar at the back of the room is about 15 people deep, if that. Lets just say, it was a very personal and close show.

Unsane are fucking brilliant though. Heavy as hell guitar riffs are making my ears pulsate and I love every last second of it. I could feel the headache starting to push its way inside my brain. Vocalist Chris Spencer sings with such menace it’s almost frightening. Watching him on stage only a few feet away I feel scared at just how much anger and energy emanates from him, I can actually see the veins in his neck tense.

It’s really hard to describe just how much raw power they make when playing, it’s like a heavy wall of noise, full of brutal, ear crushing guitar. I’m not surprised they have such a following. Let it be said, Unsane are a band who give their all when they play. Even though I know its happened, I still cant get over that I got to see Unsane play in Newcastle. I don’t think I’ll ever forget this. As I type this review I still feel sore and the gig was nearly a week ago.

All words by Craig Johnson. You can read more from Craig on LTW here, follow him on Twitter or check out his blog.

Image by Idene Roozbayani Photography.

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2 comments on “Unsane – Newcastle – live review”

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  1. Nice review. Missed Unsane this time around but they never play a bad show.

  2. Big Business sound like Melvins? Probably because 2/3 of Big Business are IN Melvins! Look it up…

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