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CD REVIEW: Unexploded - Unexploded EP
By Alex Jasperse - 06/29/2008 - 12:35 PM EDT

Artist: Band: Unexploded
Album: Unexploded EP [2008]
Label: Neologic Records
Genre: Alternative Rock, Electronic Rock and Dance Rock
Production/Musicianship Grade: 7.0/10
Songwriting Skills: 5.0/10
Performance Skill: 8.0/10
CD Review:

Relatively mature and modern, Unexploded’s latest self-titled EP hones a slick, alternative dance rock sound that’s drenched in the highlights of all things atmospherically seductive about the 1980s.

With a dark and brooding greatness, the bass immediately steps in “Invert (Inside)” with its driving rhythm to usher in wet synth washes that viciously begin to dominate the aural arena. Introducing elements of Depeche Mode’s classic cold and detached stylings, Unexploded begins to construct their own semi-signature sound, resulting in an intoxicating juxtaposition of soft, yet dark, electronic beats that climax into layered vocal bliss.
Protracted and utterly cringe-worthy, “Lake (Dragon Baby)” immediately destroys all the credibility Unexploded had going for them with the opening track. Faltering with childlike imagery and offensively mind-numbing preschool rhymes, this is quite possibly the worst track on the EP – making it completely and deservingly skipable.

Fortunately, a disclaimer isn’t needed for the rest of the EP, as “Bitchslapping a Crocodile (Gated)” thankfully returns to the same ferocity that “Invert (Inside)” offered. Wavering wood block undertones slowly churn lightly picked guitar lines and sinister low-end vocals into an uneasy electronic mix, conjuring an ominous Vangelis-inspired creepiness that will work the listener’s musical imagination deep into the grey and hazy atmospheres.

Short lived, but long enough to wreak some damage with its sonic bite, dripping synths and 80s guitar lines begin to quickly surround the listener in “Venom.” As a fitting conclusion to the EP, it continues on a darker tint – similar to the previous piece – with more of a distorted guitar presence that occasionally breaks up the song’s overall cold, dreamy and ambient overtones.

Altogether, despite one weak track, Unexploded’s EP is a relatively strong musical offering for those who love the combination of anything rock, pop or synth. However, for those who are looking for a different take on the alt-dance genre, you’ll still have to look elsewhere, as everything sounds too familiar and redundant. Overall, interesting… but not memorable.

For more information, please visit Unexploded’s official website.

The Verdict: 6.6/10

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