The Peel Sessions

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It's always interesting to see how a given band holds up in the BBC's much heralded recording studios. In many ways the most honest way to assess a band's potential, a live-in-studio recording offers no recourse to overdubbing, quantizing, over-equalization, or other techniques used to mask any number of flaws and faults. And considering the wealth of vintage microphones, the stellar console, and tape machine available at a Peel Session, it's a litmus test in the purest sense -- a stripped-down, all-lights-on exercise in proving one's mettle. With the Peel Sessions disc, Unsane do just that. In fact, this release compiles recordings from two separate Peel Sessions, one with original drummer Charlie Ondras, and the other with former Swans drummer and Ondras' replacement Vinny Signorelli -- the second directly on the heels of Ondras' untimely death from a heroin overdose. The first half of the disc is dedicated to the band's earliest output, opening with a four-song, 12-minute medley of seamlessly executed classics -- "Organ Donor," "Street Sweeper," "Jungle Music," and "Exterminator." The second half shows Unsane trying out tracks that would ultimately end up recorded in different form for Total Destruction.

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