Release Date: Jul 15, 2014
Record label: Temporary Residence
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Alternative Pop/Rock
"Serious Business," the first song on United Nations' The Next Four Years, opens with a bloody Cuisinart blur of power chords and blast-beating drums, vocalist Geoff Rickly letting out throat-flaying screams. It is a blinding place to touch down, like being deposited ass-first and blind-folded onto a five-lane superhighway. United Nations are a complicated semi-lark that Rickly, former lead singer of Thursday, has kept going in some form or another since 2005, and they have always practiced warfare via confusion.
Sometimes, it's good to let loose. Not like Pianos Become The Teeth need to be taught anything about that. Their screamo/post—hardcore work has pushed The Wave along nicely — throaty, driven, powerful and emotive — but, as with any fire, you channel more fuel into it, it'll grow. This ensemble of musicians do that with United Nations.
Review Summary: More "Full Collapse" than "Document #8".It's impossible to bring up United Nations without focusing on the names which have been linked to the band in the past. When the punk “supergroup” first took web forums by storm in 2008, all we knew is that it was a loosely affiliated cabal of scene all stars: Thursday's Geoff Rickly, Converge's Ben Koller, and Glassjaw's Daryl Palumbo. None of their names were officially used in the credits, but thanks to Geoff's subtle hints in interviews at the time, we knew.
“This is serious business,” calls out United Nations’ Geoff Rickly on “Serious Business”, the lead single and sludgy opening vortex on The Next Four Years. He means it. Despite the band’s penchant for finding humorous ways to push people’s buttons, it’s clear they have authentic intentions. They’ve unleashed two minutes of absolutely savage noise before Rickly’s note, so there’s no reason to think he isn’t being earnest.
United Nations were an act deliberately shrouded in mystery for some time. While Thursday frontman Geoff Rickly has been the face of the band since initially conceiving them in 2005, the act avoided possible record contract violations and lawsuits from the actual United Nations with all-star members like Glassjaw's Daryl Palumbo and Converge's Ben Koller playing anonymously. After a considerably revamped lineup, the band seemingly finalized themselves based on a late-2013 tour with the like-minded Circle Takes The Square: Rickly on vocals, Acid Tiger's Lukas Previn and the Lovekill's Jonah Bayer on guitars, and the rhythm section from Pianos Become The Teeth, bassist Zac Sewell and David Haik.