The Unicorns
Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?
/alien8; 2003/




more info: 

Oh dear what a year. It felt like a decade. So many ups, a couple more downs, and here i am, mumbling "oh, shut up" everytime Billie Holiday sings "I got my love to keep me warm." I went to the cinema with Angus earlier, nothing better to do on a cold Monday afternoon. The flick was nice, Billy Wilder's "Witness for the Prosecution," we were surrounded by grandmothers and it felt really comfortable. Now i'm waiting for him to get here, got some freshly downloaded Alias episodes to watch. Season three, here we come. 

We all got a couple of ghosts wandering frighteningly in our narrow minds. Things that were, things that could be but that never will. I got rid of the most frightening ones through self-analysis and decided to keep the cute ones free, just in case Ghost was much more than a silly movie. A ghost is still better than nothing.

This is a very dark album. Don't trust the cover, the catchy melodies, the fresh voices or the shiny arrangements. It sounds like catchier, more straightforward and, paradoxically, more efficiently experimental Microphones. Well, you got my point, it doesn't really sound like the Microphones but there's something. Song titles (exhaustive list, in order of appearance) : "I Don't Want to Die," "Tuff Ghost," "Ghost Mountain," "Sea Ghost," "Jellybones," "Les Os" and, finally, "I'm Ready to Die."

The Unicorns are from Montreal and they have released one of the few 2003 albums worth remembering, on the so far pop-free Alien8 label. And it's about Death. Existentialist pop with catchy hooks and sticky lines, like "I lift weights but i don't sweat/ I go for a swim but i don't get wet" in "Tuff Ghost," a song about a tough ghost. It works because they're not dead serious about it. they are having fun and you can hear it. and as long as they play incredible songs while having fun that's fine with me. They sometime sound like a Stephen Malkmus that would try to write things that made sense (please, Pavement fans of the world, don't write to us, this was not a critic). Take "I Was Born (a Unicorn)" for instance: 

I was born a unicorn/ I've missed the ark but i could have sworn/ you'd wait for me
I was born a unicorn/ I could have sworn you believed in me/ then how come all the other unicorns are dead ?

This is one of my favourite albums this year, a perfect Christmas present for Steppenwolf fans everywhere. 

-Barbara H

/dec 1st 2003/