With the departure of guitarist Brian Arthur to join Goldfinger, and with its back against the wall due to disappointing sales of its Healing album, Unloco hit the studios with a new guitarist and a damn-the-torpedoes attitude for Becoming I. The results are a more focused and aggressive sound, owing in large part to the depth and technical assurance exhibited by new guitarist Marc Serrano. There's more muscle as well in Joey Duenas' vocals, which span the gap from angst balladry on "Watching Me Slip" to mutant, gravelly catharsis on "Making Me Hate You" and back to an unexpected sensitivity on "Texas," with its un-Unloco acoustic guitar/cello sample arrangement. Aside from that track, their lyrics focus as much as ever on self-pity, worthlessness, and extreme annoyance, and their style continues to conform to post-metal conventions. But the band's sharper performance and dabbling in electronic atmospherics suggest this is the lineup that could give Unloco the aboveground exposure that had previously eluded its grasp.
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AllMusic Review by Robert L. Doerschuk