Unsane played Great Scott – 12/18

Sludgy noise rock stalwarts Unsane headlined a truly stacked heavy bill at Great Scott a week before Christmas, featuring Big Brave, Child Bite and Hepatagua. 

NYC’s Unsane live by the “not broken, don’t fix it” mantra. The trio – formed in 1988, and a constant lineup since ’94 – crank out caustic tunes with gruesome artwork, and do it well. Supporting their latest LP Sterilize (their first for Southern Lord), the group tore into Allston’s Great Scott in December with a thrilling lineup of openers in tow.

Bostonian duo Hepatagua kicked things off with some solid doom-sludge. Detroit’s Child Bite were on next with a manic noise-punk set that ranked among my 2017 surprise favorites – drop-kicked beer cans and all. Envision something like The Jesus Lizard on amphetamines with guest vocalist Mike Patton, and you’re partway there.

Unsane’s fellow Southern Lord signees Big|Brave followed up with their tense twist on post-metal. The Montreal trio play on the loud-quiet-loud genre tropes, but bring an unsettling atmosphere and emotional heft that’s all their own. Stirring, as they were opening for Sunn O))) in March.

Unsane’s headlining set packed few surprises, but none were necessary. The trio still sound huge and menacing as ever. And closing things out with their Flipper cover was a nice touch.

Check out photos from the whole evening below.