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Unit F is...

Mel - Vocals
Phil Moore - Drums
Guillermo Santacruz - Bass/Vocals
Dave Costa - Guitars, backing vocals




Biography

Since its inception, Unit F has been walking the fine line of socio-political consciousness and chaos with their own amalgam of hardcore, punk and straightforward rock 'n roll. Through their sonically raw, yet defined sound, they show awareness of punk rock’s musical heritage and its decided trademark charge of the need for social and political change that is typically absent from popular culture.

In 2018 Unit F released its third full-length album, Ecocide: Songs of Dysfunction to stand along side Comes The Day (2014) and American Shutdown (2009). The new self-produced effort marked departure from the Jim Monroe (Adolescents, Manic Hispanic, CJ Ramone) Greg Hetson (Bad Religion, Circle Jerks) production team who were responsible for previous full lengths, as well as the hard charging Same Ol’ Story EP (2012). Mark Bolton, formerly with 45 Grave, joined Unit F as a guitarist in 2015, bringing his signature chops along and recording skills at his studio Sound Cage Recording, where the band worked with Greg Hetson on the final mixes of Ecocide.

With Bolton’s departure midway in 2018, the lineup began work as a four piece, still led by original vocalist Mel Schantz who pens the lyrics and mans the vocals. Apparently, the band was ready, because the same chemistry and the penchant for songwriting that became Ecocide, is still at work as a new a batch of new songs was spawned. Suddenly the leaner, quicker Unit F began bringing those songs to the stage, with an eye towards a new release sometime in 2019.

It seemed to work. By September of 2018, the reaction to this newer version of Unit F was strong enough to elicit the bands nomination to OC Weekly’s 2018 Readers Poll for Best Punk Rock Band. Guitarist David Costa who played on Comes the Day and whose signature style and sound is evident on Ecocide, continues to handle guitars and backing vocals. Guillermo Santacruz whose bass work and backing vocals are notable throughout Ecocide, is jumping on the opportunity to write songs that meld catchy bass lines with a hard charging energy. Drummer Phil Moore who also joined Unit F in early 2015, continues bring the percussive dynamics heard on Ecocide, to the new material in a way that spans the rhythm horizon. Intensity is matched by the steady and infectious beats.

The live shows still feature most of the classic burners that Unit F fans have come to expect; the same songs that landed them shows with such bands as Bad Religion, TSOL, JFA, Agent Orange, Ill Repute, The Dickies, D.I. and too many other vaunted yet still active punk rock hall of famers. The classic song Ride is still as popular as ever, but with this lineup, the vibe is tighter, and all the new songs show more of an sonic evolution as opposed to a departure. The dynamic is unique. Maybe it is because the new material still rings in powerful lyrics delivered with distinct vocals, tempo changes, and meaty, churning riffs that make Unit F’s approach feel like classic old school. Backing vocals and sing along choruses that put the hooks in line with the gnarl.

With live shows that have an room changing intensity every time the band takes the stage, new songs such as Mind Wars, Human Zoo, Its Okay and Jesus Saves are pounded out with the same frenetic political intensity as Direct Action Now or any song from Same Ol’ Story. The songs from Ecocide like Berkeley Streets, Horrifying or Look Up Bro, still have the relevance of topics which span administrations and political trends with dismal ease, pointing out the steady, go nowhere march of a disoriented humanity. In that regard, at least the social and political reflections get a driving beat, a pounding bass line and a full guitar attack that makes such introspect seem like good night of rock and roll. And that….is just good punk rock protocol.