Super Unison is an Oakland, CA, three piece that comes to us from a long standing line of amazing bands: Punch, Snowing, Street Smart Cyclist, and Cassilis. I hate the term supergroup… but damn.
Super Unison took what they accomplished on their debut record, Auto, and truly fine-tuned their sound: dark, gloomy, moody, driving post hardcore that is not afraid of that chorus pedal. Super Unison have truly hit their stride on Stella.
“Unconditional” reels you in with with O’Neil showcasing split-personality vocals, going from clean melodies that are extremely catchy, to harsh, straightforward screams. Lyric subject matters that stem from personal growth,loss, love, and what feels like bitterness. Songs like “comfort” have poignant lyrics that feel directed towards a singular person, while tracks like “Parts Unknown” cast a wider net and feel more like an anthem. The instrumentation is also on that same trajectory of musical switchbacks. Super Unison Lean more on the driving side, but break into more technical parts that feel like bursts of controlled chaos, which creates a very angular dynamic that would make Justin Trosper grin.
Sonically speaking, this record is a masterpiece. How could it not be with yet another super group behind the production of this record? Stella was recorded by Steve Albini (Nirvana, Pixies, Jawbreaker), produced by Don Devore (Ink & Dagger), and mastered by Jack Shirley (Deafheaven, Oathbreaker). A huge takeaway for me is how crisp that guitar tone is, and how gigantic the drums sound. A record that sounds this big yet doesn’t feel like all the instruments are fighting for space is a hard feat to accomplish.
This record is banger after banger, and if you’re a fan of Unwound, Hoover, or Drive Like Jehu, I suggest you scope this record out.