These days its rare to find a band that has created more of an aura of confusion and rumor than the punk/power-violence, super-group, United Nations. Every aspect of this band is clouded in myth and mystery. The only confirmed member is Geoff Rickly, the vocalist/lyricist of the band Thursday. Why? Well it may have something to do with the fact that all other rumored members are under contracts with record labels that prevent them from playing in other bands. These rumored members include; Daryl Palumbo, vocalist of Glassjaw and Head Automatica, Ben Koller, drummer for Converge, Jonah Bayer, guitarist of Lovekill, and Eric Cooper, bassist of Made Out of Babies. Live interpretations of United Nations have included musicians, Ryan Bland, vocalist of Home 33, Lukas Previn, bassist of Acid Tiger, and Christopher Conger, drummer of The Number Twelve Looks Like You.
Deathwishinc sites the band’s elusive history in a current press release; “On the heels of the release of their debut full-length on the Eyeball label in 2008, the United Nations Organization (UNO) shut down the band’s pages on Social networking sites worldwide. The band was also forced to alter their debut album’s cover, sighting retail stores refusal to carry the title with controversial artwork. This informational blackout further added to the aura of mystery surrounding the band, allowing them to grow stronger amidst the chaos.”
United Nations’ self-titled debut on Eyeball Records in 2008, featured the infamous cover art of Abbey Road by The Beatles. This new spin saw The Beatles walking the opposite direction across Abbey Road and all members engulfed in flames. With record stores refusing to release the controversial album from coast to coast and a 1000 copies already off the press, Eyeball Records decided to release the original cover-art version exclusively, while the debut saw a proper release in stores with new artwork later in 2008.
The band’s newest E.P., Nevermind The Bombings, Here’s Your Six Figures, which was officially released via Deathwishinc June 24, 2010, could face similar stigmas as the E.P. parodies Sex Pistols‘ album Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols.
I find it refreshing that there are still a handful of bands out there willing to push boundaries and break a few laws to get people thinking. And lets not forget about the music itself. United Nations’ newest E.P. has a very distinct sound. Infusing elements of 90’s punk-rooted power-violence with oddly structured minor notes and chords – the tracks are not easily digested. United Nations deserves your full attention. While power-violence buffs may argue that the music is too emo to be befitting of the genre, the music is non-the-less intense and unique as the band draws from many punk-influenced sub-genres. While listening, one can’t help but wonder, “Is this a Koller beat? Or a Palumbo vocal hook?”
The lack of information makes the initial listen all-the-more interesting. Here is clearly a band that is larger than the sum of its parts, even though few people actually know what these parts consist of. The lyrical content ranges from comical to socially poignant and political. You be the judge.
Deathwishinc is streaming selected tracks from Nevermind The Bombings, Here’s Your Six Figures, now. Hop on over and give a listen.
01. Pity Animal
02. O You Bright & Risen Angels
03. Communication Letdown
04. Never Mind The Bombing, Here’s Your Six Figures
United Nations Official Website