Thu 21st April 2005
I guarantee Glaswegians Superunknown are a bit fed up of hearing this clarification regarding their name, but I'd be willing to bet it's not the last time they'll hear it: Superunknown are NOT a Soundgarden covers band. There, that's out of the way.
Instead, what is offered up on this demo release is six tracks of blues tinged rock. The beginning of the first song, 'Action Art', does a fine job of setting the right mood straight away, opening up, as it does, with a nice big dirty stoner riff that brings to mind the likes of The Atomic Bitchwax.
The tempo is reduced slightly as the song, and the demo, goes on and other styles begin to spring to mind - there's certainly a trash rock side to this, sounding not unlike (if anyone remembers them) mid-90's drug-obsessed sleaze rockers Warrior Soul. This is further enforced by vocalist Gordon McMahon's quieter, higher pitched voice than the opening riff makes you think you are about to hear.
There's a definite blues influence as well, and the whole thing sounds like Slash's Snakepit at times (or maybe I'm just having a Donington '95 flashback...)
The good vibe is soured slightly by the tasteless fourth track, 'Filthy Schoolgirls', with it's paedophilic lyrics - yeah, they're an attempt at a joke (I hope), but no, it isn't funny, and to tell you the truth it's also the weakest song on the album.
This daft lapse aside, 'Altered State' is a pretty strong release. There's not too much that really makes you sit up and really pay attention (first ten seconds not included), and a few moments where a decent opening riff or solo meanders off into not much. But, with tracks such as '10 Ways to Kill a Mexican' and 'Action Art', Superunknown offer some real highlights and a fair bit of promise.