Uniquetunes - 8

8 songs
45:58 minutes
***** ****


Two years after their self-titled debut, Saint Petersburg eight-piece Uniquetunes is back with their second album 8. Names can sometimes be misleading, but rarely has a band had a more fitting one than Uniquetunes. Two guitars, bass and drums make up the regular rock sound, but the three members in charge of electronics and scratches plus the woodwind player are what elevate the band’s instrumental music above anything you have ever heard.

Having been compared to Sonic Youth, Enter Shikari, Jaga Jazzist and Pink Floyd, you get already the idea that many opposite genres clash in order to create something new. The common denominator is post rock, but the Russians neither play the symphonic kind la GYBE nor the stripped down version popularised by Karate. Unlike bands where the more exotic instruments only get a minor role at best, Uniquetunes seem to give equal weight to every player, which makes especially for strongly structured electronic elements that manage to add a techno flair to the otherwise rather subdued songs. But also the windwood player get enough opportunity to add jazz and progressive touches to the music.

These different sound worlds may all sound quite irreconcilable on paper, but in reality, this works better than one could ever have expected. Of course you will need to listen to the songs at least a couple of times before the band’s modus operandi manages to cross your preconceptions of music, but once hooked, it’s hard to let loose. Instrumental bands often lack the concise catchiness of those with a vocalist, but Uniquetunes pack so many ideas into each other their songs which average six minutes that there is no time to become bored or lose focus. Fans of post rock should absolutely check out this truly original band from Saint Petersburg if they want to discover a whole new angle of their genre.

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