War Stories

Studio Album by released in 2007
War Stories's tracklist:
Intro
Send Ringtone
Chemistry
Send Ringtone
Hold My Hand
Send Ringtone
Restless (Feat. Josh Homme)
Send Ringtone
Keys To The Kingdom (Feat. Gavin Clark)
Send Ringtone
Price You Pay
Send Ringtone
Burn My Shadow (Feat. Ian Astbury)
Send Ringtone
Mayday (Feat. The Duke Spirit)
Send Ringtone
Persons And Machinery (Feat. Autolux)
Send Ringtone
Twilight (Feat. 3D)
Send Ringtone
Morning Rage
Send Ringtone
Lawless
Send Ringtone
Broken (Feat. Gavin Clark)
Send Ringtone
When Things Explode (Feat. Ian Astbury)
Send Ringtone

War Stories review

Unkle has unusual linup

The electronic project Unkle was started in 1998 by British DJ and boss of Mo'Wax record label James Lavelle. From the very first days of this project’s existence Lavelle strived to collaborate with artists from absolutely different genres and used to invite mostly well-known musicians. Subsequently this working approach became Unkle's brand mark. However, James Lavelle is not the only composerproducer of the project. One of his most famous partners was DJ Shadow who helped Lavelle in creating Unkle’s debut album Psyence Fiction. The album received an enthusiastic welcome from the audience and the duo Lavelle-Shadow looked really promising. Nevertheless, after touring the album DJ Shadow left the group and ruined hopes of newly born fans. Lavelle released Unkle's second disc Never, Never Land, which reached No. 6 on Billboard's Top Electronic Albums chart, only five years later. The album was very different from the debut one and featured Ian Brown, Josh Homme (Queens Of The Stone Age), Robert Del Naja "3D" (Massive Attack), Jarvis Cocker and many others. Lavelle was recording this album together with a producer Richard File who since that time became a second Unkle's constant member. In this year Lavelle and File return with their new and again completely different album War Stories.

Most of the instrumentation on War Stories was performed live

Just like it was expected War Stories features a diverse lineup consisting of guest star vocalists including both experienced collaborators like Josh Homme and 3D, and newcomers like, Gavin Clark (Clayhill), and Ian Astbury (The Cult). The album's marked difference from the sound of two previous records is that most of the instrumentation was performed live. This is why the guest list was expanded with bass players, guitarists and even full bands like Autolux and The Duke Spirit who appear on different tracks throughout the album. The record's stylistic is hard to categorize. Live guitars and bass influence the general sounding very much although most of the tracks are still based on the rules of electronic music. Overall the music's direction can be called a very weird and moody rock with a heavy electronic influence and it is almost impossible to say which of the two opposite genres is principle here at that. Hold My Hand may be a good example. This track has a good stylistic balance, it sounds sufficiently heavy and edgy to be a rock song and there are a sufficient amount of studio effects and samples to create a characteristic electronic ambient. And here by the way Lavelle debuts as a vocalist.

As an album War Stories sounds very coherent

But the material of War Stories is not the only thing that unites two stylistic extremes. The production work brings in some linking ties too. There is something raw and edgy in the overall sound as if it was inspired by garage rock. But as it was said earlier the different elements are performed in a right balance. Keys For The Kingdom is another highlight that demonstrates this mixture in the best way. The song has a nice melody, post grange motor bass line, catchy drums and interesting sampled arrangements. In fact, such combinations can be distinguished almost on every song. Probably there are some slight deviations in different directions but there are no tracks that would fall out of the general context. As an album War Stories sounds very coherent. Among other felicitous songs there definitely are Price You Pay, Mayday and Restless – all sound pretty characteristic but each of them astonishes with its own specific atmosphere. War stories is indeed unusual, interesting and unique in its own way album. The fact that Unkle decided to dwell upon rock music may seem too weird for some electronic fans but in reality the result deserves the most intimate attention, this album can offer tones of interesting things.