There is an expression in the publicity business, “Any press is good press.” This saying is used to explain the phenomenon that occurs when something seemingly negative eventually works to the favor of those it affects.
Not long ago, The Central Scene covered a controversy involving Greensboro based band Unifier, then called Future Ghosts. As you may recall, the local band was embroiled with another band by the same name based in Chicago. The Chicago based Future Ghosts had a trademark on the name, and took action that immediately affected the social networking sites of the Greensboro based band. The local band scrambled to react as Facebook and other social media sites removed their content.
While the band and their legal counsel felt that they had a case to keep the name, they were faced with a potentially lengthy and costly legal battle at a time that they could least afford. The band had been working diligently on a new album, and it had just been announced that it would be co-released on both Autumn + Colour and Round Kid Records. In response, they made the tough decision to make a name change prior to the release. As the band describes it, they had gotten lot of response and support during the naming controversy, and while going through a long list of possible names, Unifier really hit home. In an interview with Vents Magazine, the band stated, “…we were overwhelmed by both the support we got from our friends, fans and the local North Carolina music scene, and also by the media reaction in picking up the story. We thought the name Unifier carried a powerful positive message that would remind us of that support.”
With the issue seemingly resolved, and firmly behind them, Unifier is now poised to make their mark on the world with the release of their new album, Colorado. Heavily influenced by 90s rock, the album is 44 minutes of solid pop-rock tracks. The first track, Crush, immediately sets the mood and the tone for the rest of the album and, while a variety of influences are present in the album, the band does a great job of maintaining their own sound throughout. Only once did I pick up on a hint of a riff that threw me back to a Foo Fighters song. Given the influences, this album is also very clearly modern and relevant. Nothing about this album feels 90s-ish, but instead seems like it would work its way easily into the format of a modern/alternative rock station.
Any time I listen to music, I find myself asking the questions, “Where does this fit in? When would I listen to this?” Colorado, I believe is going to be something different for each listener. For me, personally, I could very easily pop this CD in and listen to the entire 44 minutes while heading down the highway to some destination, which is, oddly enough, about how long it takes me to drive to Greensboro, where the CD release show is. Likewise, it would very easily fit into my nightly rotations of music I fall asleep to on the ipod. There is not one song on the album that I would skip, and they all seem to flow effortlessly one to another, unlike some albums where it sounds more like a compilation than a cohesive effort. The sound established in the beginning, catchy riffs, clean guitar that is accented, and not dominated, by solid bass and drum lines, is the same sound you get at the end.
I highly recommend that you pick up this album, and, if you have the chance, go see Unifier live. Colorado is a solid album, that begs for repeated play. Filled with solid instrumention and poetic lyrics, the release of this album, combined with the recent national attention they received from the naming controversy, should firmly establish Unifier as a force to be reckoned with on the local music scene, and help to propel them to national notoriety. While the timing of the name change came at a time that could have proven disastrous, it may not have come at a better time, proving, once again, that there is always a silver lining to any cloud, if you know where to look for it.
Colorado track listing:
3. Parasite Lost
4. Bitter? Better.
7. Single Room
11. Mission Control