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United Nations

The Next Four Years LP

"“A new life, a new craze, a new sound, all the rage,” Geoff Rickly sings on “Serious Business,” the first song from United Nations’ new album The Next Four Years — except he’s demonically howling it, not singing, and you’d never pick those words out without the help of a lyric sheet. Still, those words have to cut deep for Rickly, a man who became a rock star at a strange and ridiculous twilight era in rock stardom. As the frontman of the seesawing New Jersey post-hardcore band Thursday, Rickly once fell ass-backwards into becoming one of the standard bearers for emo, in its strange and fleeting big-business period. For those of us who saw Rickly go from playing house parties and tiny clubs to headlining festivals in a few short years, that was a head-spinning experience, and god only knows what it must’ve done to Rickly himself. United Nations started out as an arty Thursday side project — anonymous members, satirical cover art, fearsome music — and it’s kept going long after the demise of both Thursday and the emo tag that never really fit them well anyway. Where Rickly once dripped sincerity, both onstage and on-record, The Next Four Years finds him playing around with ideas of punk rock and authenticity, mocking the foundations he came from. The cover art itself is a Black Flag joke, and the lyrics sometimes go beyond punk and into actual identity-play; the opening line on “Serious Business” is this: “When I was a boy, they called me Kid Lacan / Then in school, the teachers called me Teen Camus / Now, no one calls me anything.” I don’t know how much critical theory you took in college, but that’s a whole lot of layered meaning for the first few lines of a punk rock album. And yet, despite all the hall-of-mirrors philosophical stunting, The Next Four Years is an absolutely ferocious album, one of the finest extreme-music releases we’re likely to hear in 2014." - Stereogum
item # 37626
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