Unalaska has an uncanny penchant for making slightly weird surrealist rock. Verging on psycadelic but staying controlled enough to not quite make it, their EP “Unalaska” is inventive and fun to listen to.
Their single “Air Transylvania” which has a lovely travel log movie with it is a case in point. Simple guitar chords are plucked out over off kilter vocal performances, ambient soundscapes and interesting guitar melodies that sound like they are trying to turn guitars into string instruments. It’s more instrumental than not but equally charming throughout. “Skeleton” amped the guitars up for a rock focused track. Even then the synths and vocals are delivered in such a spacious way it feels like your floating and not grounded at all. It’s not until the second half where the track takes a more percussive wub-wub fashion and goes into electro ambient for its outro. It all comes together for an anti anthem finale but it also overpowers the speakers somewhat and could do with a little bit of production finesse. Lack of ambition is something you can’t accuse Unalaska of and “Salaryworld” chops up soundbites over a vibrating organ riff. It feels like a European electro-art take on a Western movie soundtrack… in the style of Slow Dance. It will make sense when you hear it! “Fallows” closes off the interesting EP with the quietest track. It sounds initially like it’s being recorded on an old cassette. It chews up, it slips in places, it actually sounds quite haunted in parts. other instruments start to creep in like organs and warped vocals that are tuned up many octaves and then left to eerily echo. As a musical piece, its challenging yet compelling. As a piece of art it really is quite something.
Uncompromising and unflinching, Unalaska’s breed of music is not for everyone in the slightest. It goes against the natural and obvious way to make music to create something that is unique and artistic. If you like to challenged in a psychedelic rock kinda way – this will do you fine! For me, that last track is a cult track in the making and makes me excited for which direction the band will follow.