Album Review: Wonk Unit – “Terror”
Now on their fifth album, Wonk Unit are something of a difficult band to pigeonhole. Mike Skinner fronting Alternative TV? A punked up version of the Television Personalities? It’s a tough one, make no mistake.
Therein lies the key though, in keeping with their previous albums, it’s Terror‘s sheer variety that’s proves to be its main strong point – starting off with the 90 second punk rush of Day Job Wanker, a ferocious diatribe against scenesters, and then following it up with the stark piano-led Christmas In A Crackhouse is definitely a brave move, but fair play to Alex and his crew, they pull it off pretty well.
The curveballs keep on coming thick and fast through Terror, Flummoxed More Than Jealous in particular feels like it’s about four songs crammed into one, while elsewhere the content varies from the angry thrash of Judas Betrayers through the paranoid ode to insomnia While The Rest Of The World Sleeps, to the almost Beautiful South-style pop of My New Safe Place. Faith meanwhile is at once scathing and oddly reassuring, which is quite a trick to pull off.
Wonk Unit certainly aren’t a band for those who like their music straightforward, but there’s definitely something about just how damn innovative Terror is which draws you in and won’t let go.
As always with Wonk Unit, expect the unexpected here. This is a band who are content to chuck whatever the hell they feel like into the melting pot, and it's to their credit as musicians and Alex's as a songwriter that they carry it off with some style. Not easy listening by any stretch of the imagination, but definitely an album worth investigating for the curious.