steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Union 13

"Symptoms of Humanity" CD

Disaster Records

Genres: punk, punk rock

Disaster Records
PO Box 7112
Burbank CA 91510

Mar 29 - Apr 4 2004

Union 13, reduced to a trio after the departure of lead singer Edward Escoto, have reunited for their Disaster Records debut, Symptoms of Humanity.  This album boasts fifteen fast-paced, angry tunes - filled with mad, frequently political, sometimes Spanish-language lyrics.  If you dig typical, vicious punk music - heavily influenced by Bad Religion - then you can't go wrong with this disc.  Though nothing here is groundbreaking, Union 13 play very tight, impressively melodic songs that are recorded crisply and performed with reckless precision.

Most of these songs sound very similar, but their subject matter varies.  "No Borders, No Boundaries" takes on the modern world's reliance on nation-states and the problems it breeds; the topic has been done to death, though Union 13 handle it with intelligence and spirit.  "Now Days," on the other hand, tackles the issue of government corruption and brutality - once again, not a new idea, but one that should appeal to those who follow the genre.  As is the case with most new punk albums, Symptoms of Humanity is strictly a genre thing - if you don't like it, you won't enjoy this; if you do, you probably will.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 15 tracks, distributed by Bomp!, released 2003]