Unit 187 - Out For Blood
Having gained international recognition, these experienced Canadians are back with their fourth opus, an actual soundtrack to the darkest of urban hours. Unit 187 ‘s inertia has come to an end;will, both the band ‘s and fans’ anticipation be detensified?
Out for Blood is an industrial album, with electro references being intense, plus constant (e.g. the effects taking shape in Guilty Pleasures). The pure industrial essence aside, one phrase kept hovering over my head, while listening to the album: “urban” darkening. Truth is all electro – industrial efforts hold an innate obscurity, almost by definition. Things are quite different concerning Out for Blood: the established sub-cultural obscurity certainly remains, yet, an underground, post – modern, deviant despairsubmerges; it‘s the synchronous one, the breed of urbanism: the ambience extracted from the album is actually the key here, and also its major privilege. A slight “access” is required for the resonance between the atmosphere and the listener to be completed, and, as long as the band’s songwriting approach has been fathomed, images of industrial territories conquer one. It’s rather interesting.
The experience is pleasurable, the least. As for the very tunes, those are not as memorable as the band sought them to be (there are exception of course, e.g. Sick Obsession), without this stating by any means that they are indifferent. The album could very well be of a “side – use”(this is both good and bad): the main drawback this album features is that its flow is flat. Rarely parts are brought to prominence , rarely do sections really stand out. And this drawback, is the very reason the album serves one the easy listening it does, the music playing on a ‘background level” (the “side – function” that has been mentioned); it is more of a soundtrack to an action, than the action itself.
As for the production, this is as clear as a crystal. All instruments are distinct. Technically/ stylistically the use of guitar (Ross Redhead, +on bass) is rather intriguing: there are compositions where the guitar has been almost extinct, while others, where it actually shoulders the musical weight (e.g. Kurva,). The alternation bears its meaning, as the guitar is usually summoned for the album to enter its peaks. The drum sound is a plus, although the very patterns flirt with boredom. Naturally, the programming/ keys are the main axis of the album, and they are quite inspired (Johnny Morgan, Chris Peterson). The use of FX in vocals (Tod Law) is a common spot in the industrial scene. Unit 187 is no exception: yet again, the urban territory comes renewed; it’s the atmosphere that gains the benefit.
To sum it up, Out for Blood is a non – disappointing album, in which the very electro – industrial scene they are part of is praised. A bit cliché, a bit flat, yet enjoyable to the end. Not very aggressive, yet intense. Quite the soundtrack for a (rather perverted) park walk. Or a fetish show. You call it.