United Wire is like getting the crap kicked out of you in some seedy cocktail bar. Nasty cutting guitar work, pounding drums and some maniac singer screaming like a drunken banshee hopped-up on goofballs. About as safe as a knife fight in a soviet prison yard. Anyway, in the grand tradition of Steve Albini produced acts such as Shellac and Big Black, this record is assaultive, abrasive, and decidedly in contrast to all things commercial. Melody, good taste, and traditional rock-song structures are thrown right out the window here in favor of swirling collages of noise complete with twisted rhythms and howling vocals. Opener Money Ruins Everything sets the tone literally from its first second, conjuring up a psychotic atmosphere out of a series of spastic drumbeats, hellish guitar riffage, and nightmarish chants. The next song, Tarnish All, might be even more frightening, with a bass riff that hits with all the subtlety of a sledgehammer to the stomach. On slower tracks like Despise The Cord, the creepy-crawly giutar riffs scratch against the surface of some bizarre vocal impressionism, but fortunately the album loses nothing by slowing down because its oppressive atmosphere is never compromised one bit. So, what more can be said about this album United Wire? Well, unfortunately, not much. This is definitely one album that must be experienced to be fully comprehended. If only more acts had their integrity, I might not have to comb the internet looking for stuff to listen to.