It's not often that I listen to a review CD as many times as this. Unyson's six track "Science Fiction" has some right good songs, played and sung with style and conviction.
Opening track "Self Indulged (Science Fiction)" is tough, hoarse, and driven. There's a nagging, stuttering guitar part and solid bass and drums to underscore a blistering verse and a fine melodic chorus. There's some call-and-response backing vocal stuff and a ringing solo guitar section. Familiar building blocks, fair enough. But it makes the point that we have a quality band on show.
"The One" follows with an ominously predictable quiet bit that seems domed to get a loud crash and rock onslaught round about bar 32. Mercifully it doesn't. But the tune isn't really strong enough to deserve the very extended treatment that it does enjoy. The Great American Guitar Band section that blazes in at three minutes twenty-four should have arrived about three minutes earlier and stayed till the end, which could have come about four minutes sooner it did. That euphoric moment pretty well makes up for the lack of decisiveness elsewhere, but when they make the album, this one will have to be dissected pretty vigorously. Well over six minutes is too long, I'ld say.
"Smash" has a great sound FX intro with urban bad things building up to a gutsy chord thrashing from a twitchy hip. The song that follows is pretty damn fine simple rock stuff with slurred US vocal delivery and some "hey hey!" harmony backing vocals. The main vocal rips out convincingly. Dodgy guitar solo though.
"Twisted Circumstance's". slightly 60s hip movie soundtrack band sound. we can skip over. But at least the kids have done their homework.
On to "Just Be Yourself" which restores the dignity of damped guitar distortion and a fine bit of racket.. It's an understated song with a good swagger to it and, as on all of this CD, a convincing and real lead vocal. There's a fair chunk of undirected and probably unnecessary guitar solo, and a solo bass line. But I forgive 'em. The last chorus is screamed most famously. And it does lead us neatly into the real pop hit wondersong of the whole event: "Not To Be Back Too Soon".
This is a right good tune, with a double guitar repeated figure that punctuates and lifts the whole thing most grandly. Bass and drums are beautifully simple and the tune rolls along with that magic ingredient (No Sign of Effort) that makes the difference between OK and truly worth bothering with. And if you have the CD on repeat, it sequences very well back into "Self Indulged". Great stuff.
Overall then, a flawed gem of a CD that says "Ey up chuck, do you want a flake in that?", then rattles the windows, and screams out for management, A&R, producer and label.