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New York City (1988 – present)

Unsane is an influential music trio from New York City. They are generally classified as noise rock, but their music also touches on elements of and . The band’s self-titled début was released in 1991 and was known for its harsh music and gruesome cover art: a photo of a decapitated man on a New York city subway track, his body still wearing a Members Only jacket.

Finding limited mainstream success, Unsane are nonetheless hugely influential; writer Patrick Kennedy writes that “while developing the blueprint for bands to follow, Unsane cut a remarkable swath through underground music, inspiring a devoted, cult-like following around the globe.”

Unsane was formed in 1988 by singer/guitarist Chris Spencer, bass guitarist Pete Shore and drummer Charlie Ondras. They met as students at Sarah Lawrence College. The band was supposed to have their début album recorded in 1988 by Circuit Records as “Improvised Munitions” , but Ernie Triccaro, the owner of Circuit Records, never released the album.

In the early 1990s, Unsane was part of a scene of loud, noisy, like-minded rock groups in New York City’s East Village, often playing concerts with bands like Pussy Galore, Cop Shoot Cop, Surgery, Helmet and the Reverb Motherfuckers (Unsane’s first show was as the opening act for the Reverb Motherfuckers). Members of Unsane were very active during this era and played in other bands like Boss Hog and the Action Swingers.


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