Unit 731


Unit 731 Unit 731 cassette

UNIT 731 is a fairly new band from the Budapest scene—this release is their second, following a demo made two years ago. They play no-fuss fast hardcore with enough distortion and zero bullshit, although it is not easy to pin them to a certain style. TOTALITÄR might be the closest reference with the on-point riffs, but UNIT 731 is not rushed to neckbreak speed, remaining urgent in a more human way. Their music has the capability to do so, yet it is not blasting out from the speakers, rather inviting the listener in. It is sort of rootless hardcore, not inventive but lacking any recycled influences. I guess it has to do with their lyrics and how they are performed, since those reach beyond the few dramatic lines screamed at the top of the singer’s lungs and rather introduce a more analytic approach, although they could get lost in translation and then you’d only hear a constant gruff shouting that could even remind you of aggro, street-punk-influenced hardcore vocals. Yet for me, the lyrical content conflicts with the simple music, but the opposite elements also support each other since both feel thoughtful. This might sound alarming, but they are not a smart-ass hardcore band, rather a daring one that does not aim for anything beyond expressing their current state of mind. Does contemporary punk need to be a public stunt, does it need to maximize its core feature? If so, then these Hungarian kids do not go with the mainstream. Neither do hyped bands who do not impress me as much. Meanwhile, I consider UNIT 731 to be a great band who wrote an awesome record and would not be out of line from most contemporary hardcore releases. The whole world might not need to listen to UNIT 731, but if each scene had at least one band like them, then international punk would be better.