Jealous Haters Since 1998!
Home | News | Reviews | Day In Rock | Photos | RockNewsWire | Singled Out | Tour Dates/Tix | Feeds



.by Keavin Wiggins

Sometimes great things are born out of tragedy; such was the case with Unified Theory. 

The story of Unified Theory really begins with the unfortunate death of Blind Melon vocalist Shannon Hoon. After Shannon was lost to a cocaine overdose the remaining members attempted to carryon without their friend and frontman. They changed the name of the band to Luma and hired a new vocalist, but as guitarist Christopher Thorn reflects the chemistry wasn’t right so the surviving members of the group decided it was time to close that chapter of their lives and start a new one. 

Fate wouldn’t separate Christopher Thorn from one of his bandmates for long. After spending some time producing music for other artists he was reunited with bassist Brad Smith who asked Thorn for some help on a solo project he was working on. The longtime friends worked so well together that they decided to put a new project together and asked their friend Dave Krusen (Pearl Jam) if he would be interested in pounding the skins in the new group. All they needed was a vocalist. As luck would have it, Thorn was about to meet a man who would help tie it all together. During a trip to Los Angeles Thorn heard vocalist Chris Shinn and knew he had his man. Shinn’s band Celia Green was in the process of splintering, with members venturing off to fill post with other bands, so the North Carolina native was receptive when Thorn asked him to come up to Seattle and “try out” for the band. Once they played together, they had found their voice, the pieces all fell into place and Unified Theory was born. 

“A complete Unified Theory touches the groundwork of all its sources…” – Albert Einstein. 

That quote from Albert Einstein not only gave the band a name but also provided the framework that they would build from. They used each members separate experience, talents, musical taste and insight to create their own unique style of music. In a way Unified Theory is like Led Zeppelin. When the members of Led Zeppelin began playing together they were billed as “The New Yardbirds”, after Pages’ former group The Yardbirds. However, the music and energy created by four men turned out to be much more than a reincarnation of the former group, so they decided a new name was in order. Unified Theory was born in a similar way, when Christopher, Brad, Chris and Dave played together they knew that this band was much more than Blind Melon II or even Luma. While it is true that Christopher and Brad have not forgotten their roots, Dave and Chris Shinn didn’t share that heritage and the music of Unified Theory reflects that. 

Here is the most important part to the story – the music. Sonically the band also lives up to its name by carving out aspects from various styles to create something new. Trying to pin a label on this band is an exercise in futility. Their music encompasses so many different styles of rock that one minute you may find yourself comparing them to progressive rock pioneers Yes and the next finding similarities to the latter-day work of the Beatles. Chris Shinn’s tenor voice captivates the listener with his remarkable ability of projecting true heart felt emotion. A skeptic could write this off as studio magic, but Shinn is able to deliver the same intensity live as he does on the album, often times surpassing his studio work. Christopher Thorn and Brad Smith have spread their musical wings with this group. Thorn delivers some of the best work of his career and captivates audiences with his playing. Brad follows in the footsteps of Rush’s Geddy Lee switching from bass to keyboards throughout the songs without the audience noticing. As for Dave Krusen, with Unified Theory he is finally able to show the world what he is made up, with intricate patterns and fills he outshines even his brightest moments on Pearl Jam’s “Ten”.  Together they have found and crossed that invisible line where music ceases being a mere form of entertainment and becomes art. 

Some readers are saying to themselves at this point, oh great another fluff piece but I assure you as a critic I give Unified Theory the credit they rightfully deserve. Last November, a questionnaire was sent out to all of our writers asking them for their choices for the best CD’s of 2000. When the results were tallied Unified Theory emerged the victor for Rock album of the Year. (They were also the first runner up for Album of the Year). Having never heard their music before, my curiosity was piqued and when their publicist informed me they were coming to Los Angeles, I jumped at the chance to see and hear what all the fuss was about. A few days later their self-titled debut arrived in the mail. The opening bars of Cessna said it all, with the music and Chris Shinn’s voice riding a musical wave, the song seems to flow - rising to the crest and dropping to the trough like a boat caught in heavy waters. The ocean seems to be a theme throughout the album, from the artwork and various lyrics, ironically the song Cessna which best personifies the ocean has nothing to do with water. The lyrics seem to tell the tale of falling through the sky on an airplane on the other hand they appear to touch upon the tale of Icarus from Greek mythology with lyrics like “with wings of wax/I trust the sun over me”. In the myth Icarus defied the gods by attempting to fly, but perished when he flew too close to the sun which melted the wax on his wings. 

The second song “California” is another example of Shinn’s vocal range. The songs theme, the story of the disillusionment of someone who comes to California seeking out fame and fortune only to find a city of decadence and despair, has been dealt with before most notably with Guns ‘N’ Roses’ “Welcome to the Jungle” but the lyrics here do a capable job of exploring the contradictory emotions of dealing with negative aspects of venturing to Hollywood and the excitement of actually being there. 

If you are looking for a collection of silly love songs you are in the wrong place. The subject matter of the lyrics take on the serious nature of the music they are sung over. The fourth track “Wither” deals with the heartbreak of watching a friend slowing parish through drug abuse. 

The masterpiece of this album is the final track “Keep On”, which would fit perfectly on side two of the Beatles “Abbey Road”. This is by far the most dynamic song musically on the album, which says a lot. The ebb and flow from subtle to dramatic has to be heard to be understood, and the lyrics’ tale of a man's surrender to the great forces of the ocean that concludes with Chris Shinn’s eerie words “There was a lot of things I'd never believe /     Like that I'd ever drown in this sea /  Lived a man in control of his life who believed / To die doing what you love is alright”. It is truly powerful stuff. 

Being a cynic, I fear that the music of Unified Theory is just too good for the masses, the themes flow much deeper than the tired rehashing of puppy love that fills the charts. The music is not easily definable except to say that it is great. I hope that I am wrong, and millions of fans will be turned on to the music of Unified Theory, because in this day and age it is hard to find music of this depth and quality. I have been wrong before in regards to this band's ability to break through, so I will close with that story. 

Los Angeles can be frustrating to even the most seasoned musical veteran. Many bands have complained after playing the city of Angels that the crowd was non-responsive, standing before the stage with their arms folded with an attitude that says “Come on show me all that you got”. I have witnessed this first hand several times. When Unified Theory played to a sold out house at the Troubadour in February I was expecting the same tired lackluster crowd response but was amazed with how effortlessly the band broke down the wall of resistance and put on one the best shows I have ever seen at the legendary venue. “California” was an early highlight in the set but the excitement seemed to build with each song until the rapturous encore performance of “Keep On” left us all yearning for more. You see for someone who loves music, it just doesn’t get any better than that. 
 

More Unified Theory

Visit the official site for song lyrics, bios, news, tour dates, video and mp3's

Listen to mp3 samples of all the songs and order a copy of Unified Theory's debut CD at the iconoSTORE

Keavin Wiggins is the founder and Managing Editor of the iconoFAN Network  Photos, Unified Theory logo and album art Copyright 3:33 Music Group/Unified Theory. All Rights Reserved by Copyright holders.


.
News Reports
.
Day in Rock:
The Tragically Hip Frontman Gord Downie Dead At 53- Evanescence Blow Fans And Critics Away With Orchestra Show- Five Finger Death Punch Completely Finished New Album- more

Day in Pop Ed Sheeran Cancels Tour Dates Due To Injury- Frank Ocean Wins In Father's $14.5M Libel Lawsuit- Fifth Harmony Stream New Song 'Can You See'- CMA Performances- more

Yesterday's Day in Rock: Taylor Swift Reveals Her Mother Has Cancer- Rich Homie Quan Surrenders To Police Over Alleged Nightclub Assault- Justin Bieber Duets With Ariana Grande- Mumford & Sons- more

 Subscribe To Day in Rock

.
 
Reviews
.

Ladies Only: Jennie Abrahamson- Rachel Garlin- Nneka- More

Album of the Week: Led Zeppelin's When The West Was Won

Karyn Crisis' Gospel Of The Witches - Salem's Wounds

The Blues: John Mayall's Bluesbreakers- Arlen Roth, Mike Henderson Band- Slam Allen

Trauma Interview

December in Red - The Way Out

Battleaxe - Power From the Universe Reissue

SOKO Interview

The Compulsions - Dirty Fun

Rock Reads: Morbid Tales! A Tribute to Celtic Frost

Death Penalty - Death Penalty

On The Record: The Wild Beyond

RockPile: Minutian- Odin's Court- THEO

Michael Ubaldini Interview

Root 66: Cameron Mitchell- Stacy Jones- Greg Shirley


.
.
.

Search for Tickets

Or Browse For Tickets

.
.
Today's Rock News
.

Ozzy Sets Home On Fire

Santana, Neal Schon and Gregg Rolie Reunite at Journey Show

Ted Nugent's Wife Arrested

Iron Maiden Tops Billboard's Hot Tours Chart

Pop Star Fergie Names Son After Guns N' Roses Frontman Axl Rose

Jack White Recording New Songs With The Dead Weather

Stone Temple Pilots with Chester Bennington Reveal EP Details

The Who Releasing Massive Super Deluxe Edition of Tommy

Paul McCartney Talks New Song and His Plans Never To Retire

August Burns Red Announce Special Screening of Documentary

The National Curating Grateful Dead Tribute Album

KISS' Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons Announce Book Signings

Mike Portnoy Reveals Full Progressive Nation At Sea Lineup

Saxon's Biff Byford Explains Evil Look Was Down To Illness

Astrid Kirchherr's Early Beatles Photos To Be Exhibited Next Month

Gene Simmons and Engelbert Humperdinck Footage Goes Online

Red Fang Streaming New Song ' Blood Like Cream' Online

Sammy Hagar Compares Les Paul Guitars To Muscle Cars

What Do Crocheting And Rock 'N' Roll Have In Common? Deap Vally

Classic Rock Going Country

Subscribe to Day in Rock Report by Email

.
.
Today's Pop News
.

North Korea Reportedly Execute 12 Musicians

Jay-Z Releases Holy Grail Video Featuring Justin Timberlake

Big Sean in Fall Out Boy's New Video

Thousands of Justin Timberlake Fans Flood 'Take Back The Night' Filming

Yeah Yeah Yeahs' Karen O Unplugs

Miguel Covers Pink's Just Like A Pill

Eric Church Going In A Different Direction With 'Chief' Follow Up

Kip Moore Has Almost Finished New Album

Juicy J Twerk Tweet Ends Up As Scholarship Competition

Danny Brown's On Stage Sex Act Was Not Planned

Bastille Trace The Best Of British Rock, Including Morrissey's Pompadour

Singled Out: Dulcinea Renee's Pictures Of You

More News

.
 
anti Worthy Links
.
The Screen DoorsuperLOUDA Journal of Musical ThingsLloyd Zeffler blogDemolish MagNightwatcher's House of RockCJ ChilversDeja VoodooThe 1st Fivethecopycat.bizHard Rock Memorabilia Day in Rock @twitter


New Mystery Book from
antiMusic's Dawn Marie Fichera!
.
  .
.

Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!
Click Here to Buy T-Shirts!

 

Tell a Friend about this page - Contact Us - Privacy - antiMusic Email - Why we are antiMusic

Copyright© 1998 - 2013 Iconoclast Entertainment Group All rights reserved. antiMusic works on a free link policy for reprinting of our original articles, click here for details. Please click here for legal restrictions and terms of use applicable to this site. Use of this site signifies your agreement to the terms of use.