The Unicorns Unicorns Are People Too

I’ve long suspected that small mediocre towns spawn great artistic visions. Such is most certainly the case with the Unicorns. From the salmon capital of the world come two gleefully art-damaged youngsters who, after escaping Campbell River, BC, have recorded a wonderfully fucked-up collection of songs in various Canadian basements. The duo is Alden Ginger and Nicholas Diamonds, and their self-titled debut is a disorienting excursion into their twisted inner lives. Crammed full of crackling pop, glitchy samples, strangled vocals, fuzzed-out guitar, tinny drum sounds and often impenetrable lyrics, the record spins eagerly from sense to nonsense. It’s a lo-fi recording that has been expertly (and lovingly) cut up and reassembled. The stuttering songs spiral out of control with great enthusiasm, and there is plenty that lurches above the sonic collapse to appease the sound junkies. It all coheres in a smoking, twisted metal mass of tacky beats and slacker vocals, and despite the fact that every sound on the record has been processed several times, it is never overcrowded. The duo warble in unison throughout, and their screeches make for a delightfully satisfying sing-along — just stop yourself from crying "Satisfy the bride! Fellate the groom!” after a few listens. It’s the sort of mess that is never less than pretty. Their thrift-store sensibility is even oddly touching at times: nothing goes together quite right, yet the result is sublime. Oh mythical Unicorns, save us from all that is hopelessly normal! (Independent)