Along with fellow New Yorkers Helmet, Unsane represent one of the most succesfull AmRep acts. Their 1995 song “Scrape” became a surprising hit, thanks, in part, to accompanying video which depicted all kinds of injuries that extreme sport professionals might get.
Unsane were formed in the late 80s by Chris Spencer, Pete Shore and Charlie Ondras, who met as students at Sarah Lawrence College. Their debut album called “Improvised Munitions” was supposed to come out in 1988 on Circuit Records, but label owner never released it due to his cocaine habits. They debuted with This Town 7″ in 1989 instead.
By the early 90s, they became part of the group of like-minded bands – the likes of Pussy Galore, Cop Shoot Cop, Surgery, Helmet and Reverb Motherfuckers, who all shared the stage with them.
Their self-titled full-length came out in 1991 and it featured a photo of decapitated man lying on the subway track as a record cover. Gruesome record covers would eventually become one of their trademarks. At the time band members were also in Action Swingers (Pete Shore) and Boss Hog (Charlie Ondras).
Charlie Ondras passed away from drug overdose in 1992 and was replaced with Vinnie Signorelli (Foetus, Swans) and bassist Pete Shore was replaced with Dave Curran.
They 1993 release “Total Destruction” came out on Atlantic Records and became their only major label release. 1995 follow-up called “Scattered, Smothered and Covered” featured a single “Scrape”, which became their most recognized song.
After 1998 “Occupational Hazard”, they decided to take a break, primarily in part to the fact that Chris Spencer was attacked by thugs while the band was on tour in Vienna, Austria. He recovered and moved on to California, where he formed Cutthroats 9 with Dave Curran. Curran also started another band called J.J. Paradise Players Club and Dave Signorelli opened a tatoo shop in Brooklyn.
Upon Chris Spencer return to New York, the band released greatest hits compilation called “Lambhouse”, followed by new record called “Blood Run” in 2003. Mike Patton label Ipecac Recordings released their 2007 album “Visqueen”.
Drummer Vinnie Signorelli is also in a new band called A Storm Of Light which also features members of Neurosis, Asea and Tombs and Satanized. They toured with Neurosis in 2008 and released “And We Wept the Black Ocean Within” album this year.
- They first show was an opening act for Reverb Motherfuckers
- They opened for Slayer in the late 90s
- Their song “Committed” was featured in a soundtrack for video game Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater
- “While developing the blueprint for noise-metal bands to follow, Unsane cut a remarkable swath through underground music, inspiring a devoted, cult-like following around the globe” (writer Patrick Kennedy on Unsane)
- Early on they used the NYC prefix in order to differentiate them from metal band of the same name
- Jack Natz from Cop Shoot Cop makes an appearance in their video for a song “Body Bomb”
Charlie Ondras (1965-1992) (Boss Hog)
Chris Spencer (Cutthroats 9)
Pete Shore (Action Swingers)
This Town / Urge To Kill 7″ (Treehouse, 1989)
Concrete Bed / El Mundo 7″ (Glitterhouse, 1990)
Vandal-X / Streetsweeper 7″ (Sub Pop, 1990)
Unsane LP / CD (Matador, 1991 / City Slang, 1991)
Jungle Music / Bloody Boy / My Right 7″ (PCP Entertainment, 1991)
Split With Slug 7″ (PCP Entertainment, 1992)
Singles 89-92 CD ()Matador, 1992 / City Slang, 1992)
Peel Sessions CD-EP (1993)
Body Bomb 7″ (1994)
Total Destruction LP / CD (City Slang, 1993 / Matador + Atlantic, 1994)
Scattered, Smothered And Covered CD (1995)
Attack In Japan (1995)
Split With Feedtime 7″ (1996)
Split With Copass Grinderz 7″ (1996)
Sick / No Soul 7″ (Man’s Ruin, 1996)
AmRep Christmas CD (Man’s Ruin, 1997)
Committed / Over Me 7″ (Galaxia, 1998)
Occupational Hazard LP / CD (Relapse, 1998 / Runt, 1998 / Rebel Rec, 1998)
Split With Hint 7″ (1998)
This Plan 7″ (2001)
Lambhouse CD + DVD (Relapse, 2003)
Blood Run CD (Relapse, 2003)
Visqueen (Ipecac, 2007)
“This Town” on Crunchouse (Glitterhouse, 1989)
“Burn” on Scumbait #1 (Treehouse, 1989)
“Broke” on Dope, Guns And Fucking In The Streets Volumes 4-7 (Amphetamine Reptile, 1990)
“Four Sticks” on Engangered Species (Glitterhouse, 1990)
“Boost” on New York Eye And Ear Control (Matador, 1990)
“Exterminator” on Slanged! (City Slang, 1991)
“Bath” on Mesomorph Enduros (Big Cat UK, 1992)
“Blew” on Jabberjaw Compilation – Good To The Last Drop (Mammoth, 1994)
“Blew” on Introducing Vol.2 (Indigo, 1995)
“Blew” on Niveau Music – Nimm Mich! (SPV Recordings, 1995)
“Scrape” on Mind The Gap Vol.6 (Gonzo Circus Magazine, 1996)
“4-Tak” on Carbon Magazine compilation Vol.14 (1997)
“Vandal X” on What’s Up Matador (Matador, 1997)
“Scam” on Contamination MCMXCV||| (Relapse, 1998)
“Wait To Lose” on Mind The Gap Vol.19 (Gonzo Circus Magazine, 1998)