Unknown Report are a band impossible to categorise. At times they are 80s funk at others indie rock, but their music is always delivered with unbridled energy and theatricality. Their sound is defined by Michael Gadsby's vocal dexterity, shifting from booming baritone to hitting high notes that would make most sopranos sound like Barry White.
Hole In The Ground follows on from their debut EP Forbidden Dreams and their style has clearly matured and developed. Whilst they are still evolving as a band they are brave enough to push the boundaries of their style and not afraid of experimenting. They also have a clean sound which comes from some neat production, you seldom find an album where you can easily pick out all the instruments throughout.
Hole In The Ground doesn't feature what you'd call a 'hit,' although Let's Not Be Heroes comes close. Similarly to Dragonskin from their previous EP it boasts a driving rocky bass, a killer sing-along chorus and is sure to be a fan favourite. Saying that, UR are more of an albums band with the entirety of their music to be taken as the creation, rather then just one song.
Concrete Paradiseis a smooth funk rock track that has some tasteful musical moments, a soulful guitar riff courtesy of Charlton Thornhill and a monster high note.
Hole In The Groundcontinues the lazy funk vibe with steady percussive help from Arthur Bromfield and again contains some beguiling musical interludes.
Let's Not Be Heroeschanges the pace a little bit with some of rock and electro thrown in - think Alice Cooper meets Europe. It has a darker feel and another great demonstration of Mikey's vocals as he shows off his rock head voice belt for the chorus. It also included some great lines such as 'where's the fun in dictatorship if everyone's happy about it.
Outsider is easily the best track on the EP. It has a great feel and although there are are some great riffs and melodies and harmonies that run throughout the EP, Aaron Saffell's keys and David Morrad's bass particularly shine on this track.
There are times when the band show potential to explore their progressive side for example in the middle of the tile song. However, they appear a bit too tentative to explore this more which is a shame for a band so bold in their approach to break away from the mainstream. Although as they grown in confidence and continue to develop and play with their musical style and influences I am sure that this will come through.
Happily for those who are looking for a unique sound, there is a band like Unknown Report that relish 'being outside the box.'