Kid Is Gone is a three-LP compilation set featuring rarities, B-sides and early singles from the post-hardcore band Unwound. There are 34 tracks included in this collection that were all recorded between 1991-1992. Recordings of songs like “Anti-Freeze,” “You Bit My Tongue” and “Kid Is Gone,” which would later be released on the 1995 debut album, are included.
“Anti-Freeze” is a near two-minute adrenaline rush that perfectly conveys the band’s sound. Quick cymbal/snare beats control the pace of the song as the tom rolls lead to section changes. It is a rather simple tune with only two parts, both setting the tone for this release. The longest cut is the eight-minute “Awkward (Kaos Session).” The musicianship is rather strong on this track with palm muting, sustains and power chords catching the listener’s attention. Near the end of the track, feedback takes over, causing atonal music to form.
“Lying Is Best” shows singer Justin Trosper’s ability to whisper during the verses, and exploding in screams throughout the chorus. The guitar chords and drums keep the tone rather ominous throughout the track. “Caterpillar” is reminiscent to indie rock with Trosper singing over distorted but catchy guitar riffs. The track closes with snare rolls and Trosper reverting to a scream. One of my favorites on Kid Is Gone is “Fingertips.” The vocals are mixed in a way that sit subtly above the guitars.
Unwound left an imprint in the post-hardcore punk scene. In a slew of live recordings and early demos, this set is prefacing the upcoming reissue of the band’s discography. If you are a fan of this group, this collection of early demos, singles and radio broadcasts is definitely worth a listen.