Underminded | hail unamerican!

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Rock: Hard Rock
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hail unamerican!

by Underminded

It's not easy coming from a town where you're in a league of your own. Case in point, Underminded, who hail from San Diego, Calif., a city that's best known in the underground rock community as a fertile breeding ground of pop-punk acts for the past decad
Genre: Rock: Hard Rock
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  Song Share Time Download
clip
1. Pablo Escobar's Secret Stash: Revisited
2:57 album only
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2. It's Kinda Like a Bodybag
2:28 album only
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3. A Coroner's Faith Through Cupids Arrow
1:29 album only
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4. Bring On the Flood
3:13 album only
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5. Burn the Metroplois
2:56 album only
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6. Support the Scene, Quit Your Band
1:48 album only
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7. Hail Unamerican!
2:15 album only
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8. The Heart of a Traitor
3:23 album only
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9. This Inquisition
2:56 album only
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10. Thestrikersdontstrike Onsuperbowlsunday
2:35 album only
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11. Enfermeria, Part 11: the Incision
3:27 album only

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
It's not easy coming from a town where you're in a league of your own. Case in point, Underminded, who hail from San Diego, Calif., a city that's best known in the underground rock community as a fertile breeding ground of pop-punk acts for the past decade, or as the land of the avant-garde spock rock that's generally off most radars.

Instead, Underminded had to form its own clique, since the foursome subscribes to neither genre of the border city's independent rock soundscape. What the group does present is a well-coordinated, punishing metal-based hardcore intensity, fueled solely by the abnormalities and unfortunate idiosyncrasies of society. Happy-go-lucky pop punk and freaked-out, angular experimentalism this is not.

Enter hail unamerican!, Underminded's debut album, released via Los Angeles-based Kung Fu Records. Not only does hail unamerican! usher in a refreshingly new spirit to the Kung Fu roster - one that's decidedly more formidable, darker and aggressive than anything the established punk label has ever released - it also shatters any pre-conceived notions of what Underminded's locale has to offer. There are no bubble gum hooks or trendy, teased hair here, just the unequivocal truth, delivered like a technical knockout through a series of succinct tracks.

Recorded at NRG Recording Studios in North Hollywood with producer Sergio Chavez (Velvet Revolver, Limp Bizkit, Evanescence), hail unamerican! isn't simply significant in concept, but also in execution. The instrumentation itself could stand alone - thunderous, drop-tuned rhythmic riffs and biting, critical lead lines all driven by wildly crushing drums - and casts a no-holds-barred attitude over the collection of tracks. Drop in the fraught, dire vocal delivery of Nick Martin, whose defiant prose attacks all senses with the unpredictable, reckless abandon of a Southern California wildfire and hail unamerican! suddenly appears as the surprise contender for the musical heavyweight title.

Interestingly enough, the title and track "hail unamerican" isn't necessarily a slight against the nation at large, rather it's an introspective cry against society's impulsive - and often repulsive - actions of becoming political lemmings. "It's about educating yourself about political awareness," Martin says. "People say 'Fuck Bush' or 'We're pro war,' but people don't know enough about what's going on. People just jump on to whatever their friends are saying or whatever society makes them want to believe."

Chalk it up to mood music - particularly for those not willing to be in the mood. "With all the vulgarity, I want this to be pissed off," he adds. Although Underminded have found their calling, it didn't happen overnight. "In the past, we were just fucking pussies. But now, we won't bullshit about it. I think since we're taking a more aggressive stance on things like this, people are going to respect that a lot more, even if they don't agree with it."

Forming in 2000, guitarist Matt Johnson and Martin met as mutual friends in high school. After performing in the local scene with a variety of iterations, the band began to strike a chord with a local following. Shortly thereafter, with the advice of scene veterans, the foursome utilized their school's summer vacations and began to hit the road in 2002. The band, most of whom had completed high school, next went into the studio with Chavez to begin work on their debut EP, which was self-released. A new demo, tracked in 2003 with Chavez, landed in the hands of Kung Fu, who had been seeking a heavier band for their burgeoning roster. "We talked to different labels, but it seemed like they were the only people who had the heart to do this," Nick says. "Trying something new like this would be good for them. It's a huge risk."

And that's a bonus for Underminded. Whereas other independent rock labels are stigmatized as being "hardcore" labels, offering nothing but sound-alike artists cluttering their ranks, Kung Fu's relatively lighter, more melodic roster finds Underminded's aggressive and powerful compositions as a breath of fresh air, and allows for the group to take a little extra notice.

"This album comes out swinging," Martin says. "It's full-on in your fuckin' throat. It's gonna hit people hard and they'll realize that this is why Kung Fu signed this band." Take one spin of hail unamerican! and perhaps you too will realize the sheer magnitude of Underminded's Kung Fu debut. And, as for the uninitiated, consider yourselves steadfastly warned

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