One Unique Signal - Tribe, Castle and Nation

Liam McGrady 22/07/2006

Rating: 4/5

You're walking down a dimly lit corridor; in your dreams. You're almost floating along, being seemingly drawn towards something. There's faint, ambient music filtering through from somewhere - a low rumbling of bass and sinister yet alluring guitar chimes. You know the kind of scene and score I'm talking about. The opening of One Unique Signal's album turns this from half-sleep imagination to full blown sonic reality. And from here on in it only gets more captivating and arresting.

Closest musically to a Math Rock Interpol, the band create a dark, haunting sound - dark like looking at the backs of your eyelids - where riffs are almost ground out; from hands made of granite; on guitar strings made of rusty wire.

All tracks feature a heavy droning and background resonance that nags at the brain, in the same way the static noise of a television keeps you semi-conscious when you drift off watching black and white horror's at three in the morning. And Icy, uncompromising vocals like “I tried so hard to get into your diary” ('Diary') and “I know what you're thinking about/I know what you're thinking” ('Orientated X Zero') are the weeds and reeds that wrap around your legs and drag you into the cold water songs.

Stiff and with almost military precision most of the music may be, there's still an element of surprise in each song, a twist in the tale; a shock around the corner. Breakdowns of guitars emitting piercing, fingernails down the chalkboard sounds appear from nowhere, and more alarming but no less exciting, at times a pop hook rampages into earshot disturbing the poised gloom and glamour.

Pinching from the likes of Joy Division, Public Image Ltd and Spacemen 3, One Unique Signal can't claim to fully live up to their chosen moniker, but they invert and distort these influences enough to be one of the most original newer bands around.

Release Date: September 2006

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