As a robust rock underground got swallowed alive by the Major Label Industrial Complex, the very autonomous Unwound—Olympia, Washington's Great Noise Hope—toed the troublesome line between pay check and Check Engine light. Captured in the gaps of a ruthless touring schedule, defining fourth and fifth albums The Future of What and Repetition were issued in the back-to-back springs of 1995 and '96. Both find the band severing their post-hardcore roots, for gripping detours into Echoplex, kraut, D&B, and Mingus, as guided by a sun-worn copy of Book Your Own Fuckin' Life.
No Energy collects both of these 1990s masterworks, beginning with Justin Trosper's home-made haircut stabs on "New Energy," continuing with Vern Rumsey's reanimating bass on "Corpse Pose," and closing in a wall of Sara Lund crash cymbals on "For Your Entertainment." This 33-song collection is buttressed by singles and period live tracks, a pile of double-exposed photographs, and a 10,000 word essay by latter-day Unwound diarist David Wilcox.
BONUS LP: 6/30/1999: REYKJAVIK, ICELAND
In the summer of 1999, Unwound spent two months crisscrossing Europe. They began in Brussels, hit Germany, the Netherlands, and France twice each, spent a week in London and cut a Peel Session, and finally touched down in Reykjavik, Iceland, for a gig and session at RUV. The trio was on their way to recording their opus, and lingered just long enough in the past to revisit a few marquee highlights, stretching them out into droney sonatas drenched in feedback.
1000 copies of this live LP have been pressed, and those can only be purchased with a pre-order of No Energy. A handsome hand-screened jacket houses the affair, utilizing the bunny rabbit logo of noted Icelandic record store Hljómalind.