Sydney’s party punk metal heads, Totally Unicorn have just dropped their second album on April 12th via Farmer & The Owl Records and it’s as magical as an actual unicorn itself.
‘Sorry’ is as hectic and mental as watching these guys play live; it’s a tie-dyed mixed up mash of sounds and raw vocals and it’s one hell of a good time. The first time I saw Totally Unicorn play live my jaw dropped as I witnessed the band tear up the stage with frontman Drew Gardner dressed from head to toe in tie-dyed goodness and throwing himself into the crowd and all around the stage, eventually ending up half naked by the end of the set. Listening to ‘Sorry’ kind of makes me feel like I am up there with the band doing all of those things and most definitely, somehow ending up half naked by the end of the album. It’s like it makes absolutely no sense but at the same time, makes complete and perfect sense. It’s an expression of emotions and frustrations delivered through songs thrown at you with aggression, a lot of cussing and a brutal honesty that grabs you hard and makes you sit tight and listen intently.
The album starts off with the title track Sorry “I don’t know how to sing but I don’t give a flying fuck, why can’t we all just get along? telling stories, some right, most wrong…” and continues with whispers of “I’m sorry”. It’s intense, almost spooky and kind of threw me as to what to expect from this unique and brilliant album. But honestly, I think that’s what the band was aiming for, something unexpected and in your face. Mission accomplished from track one and now onto the rest of the album.
Track two, The Island hits hard from the get-go. It’s messy and raw and it’s just perfect. The heavy guitars matched with scratchy angry vocals sets us off on the ride. 33 is up next and this one is something reminiscent of an Aburden track with a hint of La Dispute in the desperation behind the lyrics and the way they are delivered. But then all wrapped in with an occasional slightly more upbeat riff where it throws to a more party metal feel. This combination is what these guys are all about; it’s like nothing else.
Grub is up next. This one has a more punk/alternative feel. Think really early Grinspoon (‘Licker Bottle Cozy’ EP circa 1996). A break in the song sees no music and just spoken word “Doing what’s right and they spite you, taking their advice and they like you…”. This is the kind of song I want to listen to when I need to get out some inner anger; just to let it all out.
Heavy Breathing is a stand out track for me. It makes me itch to see them on stage again. I can feel the intensity of the song and imagine the delivery of this in a live setting. A song on an album that can take you in your mind to a live performance, to me, is pretty amazing. It’s an escape from the current moment in an otherwise ‘normal’ day. This album takes me there on several occasions.
A Song For The Deadshits takes it down a notch; slows things down for a minute. The soft guitar and sounds at the beginning of the track is almost calm in an otherwise relentlessly intense album. This is only for a few seconds as it slowly builds up into more. It’s heartfelt punk with an almost blahzay approach but at the same time delivered with so much intent and commitment. Good Thanks is relentless with the blast beats from drummer Adam Myers smashing your ears and adding to the way this track kind of drills itself into you.
Track nine, I’ll Be Fine Now takes on a whole new vocal display. Deep and heavy vocals at the beginning of the track, reminiscent of Nick Cave and a slow beat of guitars, bassline and drums that sit deep and heavy in your chest. It’s still Totally Unicorn but it’s more than that somehow. This song hits me on a totally different level than the others. I love this track, possibly my favourite from the album. It was like an unexpected gift.
The last track Alley (Fucking) Cats is back to the normal pace of Totally Unicorn and kind of reminds me of an early Nirvana track from their ‘Bleach’ album. The lyrics are gut wrenching with an evil laugh thrown in too. What an ending. Bring on their next live show in my town, because I am most definitely there.
You can purchase tickets to the tour and get the album ‘Sorry’ HERE.