Advertisement

Album Review: Unknown Component – Blood v. Electricity


Unknown Component
Blood v. Electricity
www.unknowncomponent.com

Keith Lynch, the man behind Unknown Component, may cringe when I draw an easy comparison between his latest release and the work of Radiohead, but I make the comparison lovingly and without claims of derivativeness. Unknown Component has all the elements in place for a great alternative rock album: crisp production, tried and true instrumentation, and sincerity.

Unknown Component’s latest album Blood v. Electricity begins with squelchy synths and melancholy piano arpeggios before brooding guitar, minimalistic drum machine, and orchestral synth patches take over. Lynch’s arrangement of the component parts is tight and well balanced, but seems to build energy towards a release that never quite occurs. The restraint shown in the title track seems to set the tone for the rest of the album as well.

High points of the album include the track “Pendulum” which combines crunchy guitar, live drumming, sparkling synths and a chorus that reaches a satisfying crescendo. In its best moments the song reminds me not of Radiohead but of Grandaddy, a band that’s turn of the millennium albums likewise combined traditional rock instrumentation, synths and occasionally heartbreaking sincerity. The next track, “Sensory Deprivation” provides one of the most interesting dynamic contrasts of the album and displays Lynch’s success as a lyricist and a talented (albeit sometimes circumscribe) vocalist.

Lynch seems to have found his groove in the melancholy and bittersweet sounds his guitar and voice have to offer him, and despite his success with those emotions, I found myself wishing for some tracks that hollered with joy or even rage. I don’t hear enough blood in Blood v. Electricity, and for me the album appears to be cast consistently in shades cobalt and plum instead.

Lucas Williams was born and raised in Iowa City but now works as an environmentalist in Chicago. He likes bicycling and beer.


Thoughts? Tips? A cute picture of a dog? Share them with LV » editor@littlevillagemag.com

Advertisement

World of Bikes presents:

KEEP ROLLING THROUGH THE WINTER

Come talk with our experts about ways to stay on the bike this winter! Find out more at World of Bikes.

Get Started

Advertisement

Muscatine, Iowa

SHOP SMALL • SUPPORT LOCAL

Come to Muscatine for all your Holiday shopping and visit all of our unique and locally owned shops and restaurants!

Visit Muscatine

The Future is Unwritten

You look to Little Village for today’s stories. Your sustaining support will help us write tomorrow’s.

Regular

$10/mo or $120/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
The cost of doing this work really adds up! Your contribution at this level will cover telephone and internet expenses for one month at the LV editorial offices.

Italic

$20/mo or $240/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
$240 is enough to cover one month’s costs for sending out our weekly entertainment newsletter, The Weekender. Make a contribution at this level to put a little more oomph on your support and your weekend.

Bold

$30/mo or $360/year
(AUTO-RENEW)
LittleVillageMag.com connects eastern Iowa culture with the world. Your contribution at this level will cover the site’s hosting costs for three months. A bold move for our boldest supporters!

All monthly and annual contributors receive:

  • Recognition on our Supporters page (aliases welcome)
  • Exclusive early access when we release new half-price gift cards
  • Access to a secret Facebook group where you can connect with other supporters and discuss the latest news and upcoming events (and maybe swap pet pics?) with the LV staff
  • Invitations to periodic publisher chats (held virtually for now) to meet with Matt and give him a piece of your mind, ask your burning questions and hear more about the future plans for Little Village, Bread & Butter Magazine, Witching Hour Festival and our other endeavors.