Born in Oakland and based in Brooklyn, Unnatural Ways is a vehicle through which master guitarist Ava Mendoza showcases her wide-ranging abilities as a musician. With the group's first two largely instrumental releases in the bag, they've turned the focus on the shredder's voice for their upcoming third LP The Paranoia Party starting with lead single "Go Back to Space," a spastic, fuzzy exercise in combining noise-rock motifs with off-kilter timing and a vocal performance that calls up goth-punk godmother Siouxsie Sioux.
The unsettling nature of the occasionally disorienting sound is no mistake: With this release, Unnatural Ways aim to tackle issues plaguing the United States political realm in the current day. Mendoza explains, "The album is about aliens and being alien: political paranoia, inclusion, exclusion, migration, immigration, border crossing, alter egos and alternate realities." Not ready to succumb to the woes of the righteous fear-mongers, she notes the album's title "refers to finding celebration within the state of tension and fear we are living in."
Metallic overtones and soothing distortion held down by irresistible shifts in the backbeat and forefront riffing dissolve together in pure, noisy ear candy. Science fiction is once more a metaphorical escape from the oppression of the tyrannical governments and beliefs, dissolving into a car-crash dystopian end that leaves more questions than it answers; as the record's opener, listeners can trust they'll be drawn deep into the conceptual nightmare and rewarded greatly with the aural payoff of Mendoza and co.'s singular talents.
The Paranoia Party drops March 22nd on Sleeping Giant Glossolalia, the label who brought 'heads modern underground masterpieces from the likes of Couch Slut, Insect Ark, Gnaw, and more. Keep an eye on their official Bandcamp for upcoming pre-order and release info.
1) Go Back to Space
2) The Runaway Song
3) Most of All We Love to Spy
4) Trying to Pass
5) Draw That Line
6) Soft Electric Rays
7) Cosmic Border Cop