Unschooling are a frenetic, taut four piece from Rouen, France. Their new “Random Acts Of Total Control” EP follows their 2019 debut album “Defensive Designs”.
Unschooling’s sound is a fusion of math rock and post punk, with a real spring in its step. Opening with “More is More” the band blast out of the blocks. The frantic pace is akin to Omni played at double speed.
“Boo Boo Dragon” starts off as almost a disco punk song with a bouncy groove. It’s the sort of punchy delight Parquet Courts were offering up on Wide Awake, but with added sax skronk. This doesn’t last long though, as they switch time signatures and drop back into that Television/Omni taut post punk. It also takes in some wonderfully atonal guitar dischords along the way.
The fiddly guitar intro to “Social Chameleon” hints at a Captain Beefheart influence before they indulge in busy, Palm-like melodic math rock. Vocally there’s a touch of dEUS or Millionaire as well as the aforementioned Omni. “No Shoes” teases with a fidgety opening before dropping into a gorgeous slow jam. This isn’t how it ends, of course. It’s another schizophrenic track that simply refuses to sit still.
Unschooling rounds off the EP with the more driving “NYE”. Again there’s more than a touch of Omni about it. While the polyrhythms throughout have ants in their pants, they’re also quite hypnotic.
‘Random Acts of Total Control’ is an impeccably crafted EP. Its strength is in the simplicity of the hooks but the intricacy in the whole. Unschooling are almost inhuman in their rhythmic precision whilst remaining incredibly playful at the same time.
Out now via Howlin Banana Records.
You may enjoy this if you like: Palm, Battles, Omni, Kaputt