Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Brand New Unit - Some Old Units

Okay, another one that JGoon will probably enjoy, hopefully others as well. I forget where I heard about Brand New Unit, but I believe I heard them described as "melodic hardcore" and that was enough. It may have actually been from the review shown on this page. Excursion put out their first CD, which I ordered soon after its release. Another Can I Say? Sign me up!

Dag Nasty comparisons aside, Brand New Unit was definitely a unique sounding band. A little too poppy for their Canadian and Northwest peers (Sparkmarker, Strain, Undertow), but heavier than the pop punk bands that permeated that time period. The singer had a good voice, whether singing or yelling. And the guitarist, Jinx, had a cool, slightly metallic style that was a little reminiscent of Brian Baker.

BYO Records was a good fit for their 3rd CD (which was really just a compilation of some European EPs) with its roster of classic melodic punk and some newer bands like Jughead's Revenge and Bouncing Souls. The band never really got their due though. Maybe because they didn't tour the U.S. much, maybe because they couldn't really be lumped in with either pop punk or hardcore, or maybe because their releases weren't the easiest to find at the time. Not everyone was addicted to mailorder like me.

They only released one proper album called Diddley Squat. It seems to be out of print, which is a shame since it's probably the best of their 3 full length CDs. But maybe I'll post it soon. The drummer went on to join Gob on their best album (in my opinion) How Far Shallow Takes You.

I was lucky to see them play with Link 80 one time in Milwaukee with JGoon. I'm not sure if many people were there for them though. I don't really remember seeing/hearing Link 80, but I know that 1) they were like a ska/hardcore band, 2) the singer was romance writer Danielle Steel's son, and 3) the same singer killed himself not too long after.

Anyways, I've put together the remaining tracks that weren't on their other 3 CDs. I think these are some of their best songs, especially "Left Behind." The live stuff isn't too exciting, but it does feature a previously unreleased Minor Threat cover. So it's got that going for it, which is nice.

Empty Useless Air CDep (Burning Heart, 1999)
   01) Out The Door
   02) Empty Useless Air
   03) No Cure At All
   04) Get Your Trash On
   05) What Do You Care For?
Kill Sadie Split 7" (Modern Radio, 1999)
   06) Left Behind
Quickdraw Richy Rich 7" (Heartfirst, 1995)
   07) Twist My Arm
   08) Land Of The Free
VA - VMLive Series 2, Volume 1 CD (VML, 1999)
   09) Live To See Another Day
   10) All For Nothing
   11) It Follows (Minor Threat)
   12) Crack
   13) Deep Freeze


  1. I had the empty useless air EP & the quickdraw richy rich 7", but not the rest. Can't wait to listen to! Do you have the VMLive Sicko volume? If not, I picked it up at Atomic at their closing sale... Are you sure this was the show we were at? I seem to remember BNU headlining...or did we leave after they played? The poster I gave to you was different from the one above, right? I remember the singer was wearing a Millencolin shirt... and I still have my BNU shirt from the show.

    1. i only have this vmlive cd, which also has supernova. you might have actually given me the sicko one on 7". i don't usually care for live stuff that much though.

      i'm guessing bnu only made it to milwaukee once, but yeah, i don't remember any of the other bands. the poster you gave me had the diddley squat cover art. i think it does say "with link 80" on the bottom, but i'm not sure.

  2. I'm not too crazy about live albums either, but I'm guessing you got this one at besides...http://besidesasides.blogspot.com/2011/11/bootleg-samiam-live-at-krazy-fest-10.html

    really good.