Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Unida- Coping with the Urban Coyote (1999)

Let’s do a bit of review suicide here and start off with a cliché. Lighting strikes twice for John Garcia. (It actually seems to strike a lot more than that for him, but that comes later in his career)

Coping with the Urban Coyote is the sole official release of Unida, the second post-Kyuss project featuring John Garcia, crunchier and more energetic than ever. What can you expect from a short lived band whose primary claim to fame is that the vocalist used to be in Kyuss? Unida delivers everything, especially riffs, they‘re fat, loud, and memorable. The Rhythm section is downright masterful, with some especially inspiring bass portions, and as for the voice of desert rock himself? If anything, Garcia’s voice has aged with style. In the 4 years since the breakup of Kyuss, he’s developed a fuller tone, with better expression and much more confidence. Tracks like “If Only Two”, and “Human Torpedo” feature a grittier, tougher Garcia, and a downright pounding rhythm.

Garcia isn’t musically illiterate by any means, and the composing credits go to Unida as a whole, but guitarist Arthur Seay is a big part of that formula. For fans of Kyuss, this record has a lot more in common with songs like “Green Machine” and “Conan Troutman” than “Freedom Run” or “Whitewater”.

The rhythm section delivers two downright monstrous performances in “If Only Two” and “You Wish”, and then a bunch of other solid backings in the other 6 tracks. The most remarkable thing about “Coping with the urban coyote” is that there isn’t a weak track to be seen. Even some of the best metal albums have the unnecessary ballad or the space-wasting filler. Unida has no need for such crutches. Being that I’ve referenced it for both it’s stellar vocal performance, and the quality of the rhythm section, I’d have to say “If Only Two” is my favorite song on the record, it’s got the heavy bass rolling, a killer riff, and Garcia pushing his voice to the limit.

Despite the criminal under appreciation that Unida received, “Coping with the Urban Coyote” is an essential part in any metalhead’s collection. Get it now, get it fast, you won’t regret it

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