For Immediate Release
January 10, 2018,
Orange County’s UNIT F Releases New Album- Ecocide: Songs of Dysfunction, CD release
Orange County’s socio-political punk rock band Unit F has announced the full release of its latest album Ecocide: Songs of Dysfunction. Unit F will be playing a CD Release party at the Karman Bar located in Laguna Niguel, on January 19, 2018. “ We are going to do a bunch of them, but this first one will be with just good bands and friends. If all goes right, we should be doing one each month. In different areas of course” said lead singer Mel Schantz.
The Karman Bar is located at 26022 Cape Drive in Laguna Niguel, Cailfiornia, and the show starts at 8:00 pm. Scheduled to join Unit F are 390, The Whinning Pussys, The Bindles and Darkie Dark and the Junkie Bunch.
The release of Ecocide marks another new chapter in bands the long running history, even as they celebrate the release their fourth full length album Ecocide: Songs of Dysfunction. The nine track album is self-produced effort (Greg Hetson assisting on mixing) which riffs on such cheery modern themes as social dystopia; environment collapse and cultural amnesia.
Indeed it has been a busy couple of years for the band. Since 2015, when ex-45 Grave guitarist and Sound Cage Studio owner Mark Bolton joined the band, they went on a tear writing new songs and playing shows in Orange County, San Diego, Los Angeles, Santa Barbara and Las Vegas. “Yeah, the response has been so good. I mean the feed back we keep getting on the new material, means that it translates well to the stage. And that’s so important…that the music continues to mean something. It really has been an incredible ride.”
“Unit F is a punk band, both in attitude and in a sonic sense…” Schantz continued, “but we expand the envelope as far as punk is concerned especially in terms of the song writing. Not as fast as some bands, but still hard hitting…and intense. Some say we sound like an OC band, some say we sound like no other band.”
The new release marks another accomplishment for the Orange County, CA punk outfit known for their raucous stage performances and brash, scathing sound as they take the stage with musical friends and hero’s, but the release of Ecocide, the bands sixth (overall) release, is significant as well. Early play on several internet radio stations in Southern California has brought a new round of energy for the band, and the early reviews of Ecocide, which features the artwork of Orange County artist Scott Harding, have been exceptional.
“It definitely took a while to get the right artwork done, and we lucky enough to collaborate with Harding (who also sings for Mr. Firley). Scott had a grasp of what we are saying, and really put together some phenomenal concepts that are the kind of visuals that are cool, but make you consider what is being said in the music” noted Schantz.
“The next step will be to meld some of those concepts into the kind of media visuals that will make for some cool videos. Those who turn out for the CD release parties are likely to be a part of that” he continued. Currently, Ecocide: Songs of Dysfunction is available on several digital platforms, but the physical disc is available at shows, through the bands website www.UnitFmusic.com, or through CD Baby.
The title is pretty self explanatory, and derived from a lyric from the song Blacksnake (“We’ve committed, Ecocide/ ahh we all lost our goddamn minds ‘Cause it’s Ecocide). “Yeah, and its not just an album about oil pipelines (Standing Rock, the XL, etc) or our endless insatiable addiction to all the extraction industries, it’s about all the ways we mindlessly continue to disrespect the spirit of earth, our home really, in favor of greed and material benefit. It’s about the relentless destruction of all the natural systems of this amazing, living earth. Its not just about how we are destroying our home, it’s also about what we are doing to ourselves in the process…and why; Its about where we are, and how the hell we got here.” Ecocide. Indeed….
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L-R Mark Bolton, Dave Costa, Phil Moore, Guillermo Santacruz, Mel Schantz
Ecocide is Unit F's fourth full length release. It was recorded at Sound Studio in Brea, California by Mark Bolton (45 Grave, The Bells, Unit F) who owns the studio, over the course of 2016 and 2017. Additional mixing assistance was rendered by Greg Hetson (Redd Kross, Bad Religion, Circle Jerks), who also assisted on the making of Unit F's Comes the Day (2014) and American Shutdown (2012).
Ecocide was a work in progress that developed from the newest line up that emerged late in 2015 after the release of Comes the Day. David Costa took the guitar work featured on Comes the Day, and began writing with Guillermo Santa Cruz on Bass and Phil Moore joining on drums. Mel Schantz found plenty of vocal lines and inspiration, and when Mark Bolton joined the band, the resulting vibe became songs like Berkeley Streets, Look Up Bro, Horrifying and Decay.
Bolton used the availability of his studio to begin the songs that would become Bad Monkeys, Blacksnake, Falter and Raven. Of course, Ride II is a rerecording of the classic first featured on American Shutdown, but with new vocal and guitar parts. And, the collaboration of the entire band in the recording process meant that in each song, there are parts which bear the audio stamps of all the members. From Bolton's distinct leads and octaves, to Costa's searing solos, Guillermo’s bass lines and Phil's drumming, there is a unique continuity and a texture to the rock.
Mel Schantz uses several vocal approaches from sneering sarcasm to scathing broadsides, sometime's political, sometimes ironic. With Guillermo’s back up and the band gang vocals, the stories told display a unique voicing. Distinct harmony lines that echo the octaves of the guitars and present plenty of sing along choruses also get
accentuated by guest vocalist Mika Carlson who appears on a couple of numbers: an amazing ethereal female voicing with an esoteric bent that lends a listenable contrast to the dark themes presented.
Irony of course, is not lost on the band, and somehow the topical concerns of the political landscape past and present, the destruction of the planet, one ecosystem at a time, and our own wars with each other are given a context whose timeliness is farsighted.
Ecocide is an album about our current condition, taking snapshots of modern society and tracing the roots. Hence the thematic similarity of songs such as Horrifying, Bad Monkeys, Look Up Bro, Falter, Decay and Raven. Songs of Dysfunction bring a unique and modern sonic approach that brings melody to the rock, but express an urgency in a true punk rock fashion. In this way, Unit F continues its tradition of melding music with meaning and message with art. After all, as D. Boone (Minutemen) once said 'Punk rock is what we make it'.
Track Listing and Credits
1. Bad Monkeys
2. Berkeley Streets
3. Look Up Bro
9. Ride II
Recorded at Sound Cage, Brea California
Recorded and Engineered by Mark Bolton
Mixed by Mark Bolton, Unit F and Greg Hetson
Mastered at Buzzbomb Studios by Paul Miner
Art concepts, Layout and Design by Scott Harding and Mel Schantz
Guest vocals by Mika Carlson on Raven, Decay and Blacksnake