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Unsane to re-release their 1991 self-titled album, with original decapitated corpse cover

Unsane
(Image credit: Jens Jurgensen)

Cult noise rock heroes Unsane are re-releasing their self-titled 1991 album.

The album, which became infamous due to its cover artwork featuring a photo of a decapitated corpse on a New York subway line, was originally released by Matador on November 26, 1991. The remastered 2022 re-release will emerge on vinyl, CD and as a digital download via Lamb Unlimited on September 23, and is available to pre-order now

Looking back on the album, frontman and band co-founder Chris Spencer told us: "This one was incredibly fun to make. We were just starting to get comfortable playing in the studio and had our choice from a lot of songs. A majority of the record had already been recorded for an EP [Improvised Munitions], which had been done for a label called Circuit Records, which was just starting out and had done some stuff with our friends from the band Surgery. The guy who started the label disappeared after getting our test pressing – apparently he had spent all the money on cocaine and owed a dealer a ton of cash, hence the total disappearance.

"I have never been able to find the guy since, despite trying everything possible… the dealer may have gotten to him first.

"Anyway, we had to re-record all of the songs (plus a few others to make it a full length), which really worked to our advantage, as we recorded in the same place as the EP, with Wharton Tiers at Fun City. We had been touring as much as possible and I had been recording a lot of the shows on cassette, from which we took some of the noise, feedback and delay loops and edited them in-between songs. I was trying to emulate the live experience onto the record. This record was basically done live to tape in Wharton basement studio with super minimal overdubs.

We used a picture given to Pete Shore (our bassist) by a friend who worked as a photographer for the NYPD for the cover art."

This would be the only Unsane album to feature founding drummer Charlie Ondras, who died of a heroin overdose while the band were touring the release. 

Unsane

(Image credit: Lamb Unlimited)
Paul Brannigan
Paul Brannigan

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.