Part of Jun 2009 by

Unit 7 Drain: Down the Drain

All relationships have expiration dates and bands are no different. This is a eulogy from a distance to Unit7Drain, a band that had major impact on Albuquerque.

Bands are usually the most fragile of relationships due to having so many breakable parts. They often tear themselves apart after only a couple of years by the force of their own artistic centrifuge. Especially if the big money doesnt enter the picture quickly. It is almost unheard of for a band to last 10 years even if the big money does hit. But somehow Unit 7 Drain kept cranking out the respectable tunes for 10 solid years in the Albuquerque scene, with a work ethic. (They sometimes played three times a week all over town.)

Unit 7 Drain

I wont even attempt to categorize Unit 7 Drain, as they created a sound all unto themselves that needs to be experienced and then, digested. The sound definitely calls back to bands like the Cure and Joy Division, However the players in U7D pull from so many different influences it would be a brutal shame to pigeonhole them as just an 80s fallback band. Their own press release describes them like so: “UNIT 7 DRAIN is a rock band, but not a leather jackets, cheap beer and flaming guitar solos kind of rock band. Theyre more like a Fred Rogers-style sweater wearing, cheap wine drinking, and keyboard heavy outro type rock band.”

Unit 7 Drain was formed in the spring of 1999. I have no idea on the details of pre-U7D courtship and it probably doesnt matter. What does matter is what they accomplished. Unit 7 Drain had a very impressive recording career including appearances on 6 compilations. They released 9 albums including an EP, a live album, and a split album with Oh, Ranger! The bands first published recording was the song Tin Apples on the Socyermom Records compilation “Ouch!” released in 2000. For a band to make it onto a labels compilation album just one year after their formation is a testament to just how stupid awesome U7D were.

Unit 7 Drain released their first EP which was self-titled in 2001. This catalyst effort by the band set the tone for their success and also set the stage for all their future recording efforts. In 2002 the band ended up being signed to Socyermom Records which resulted in the critically acclaimed album “Red Halo” being released to a hungry public. The “Red Halo” support tour also took U7D across state boundaries and spread word on this incredible band across the Southwest.

Throughout their career they averaged a new release every year — fancy tickling, but it wasnt until 2006 that the critics handed them a major award. In 2006 Unit 7 Drain won Best Rock CD for their Tim Stroh produced album “Lists” at the New Mexico Music Awards.

Now double click the fast forward button to May 1st, 2009 for their CD release and decade anniversary at the Launchpad in downtown Albuquerque. Unit 7 Drains latest and last effort is entitled “Death” which of course was a really good name for signaling the two-minute warning about the bands demise. I guess a better name would have been, “Were breaking up in a month.” But what can you do?

So in true U7D fashion here is the semi-flippant, quasi-official, alternate-spellings announcement of the bands demise:

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

New band same assholes minus two. (Thats 40% less asshole, folks)
Current mood: Adventurous
This page (formerly the U7d MySpace page) is now the home of “The World On Fyre” on MySpace. TWOF is the new project of Harry, Chris, and Tony from U7d. If you are looking for U7d youll need either a time machine, or the willingness to form your own U7d tribute band.

Thanks for the memories.

The good news for the New Mexico music scene and the entire listening world is that “The World On Fyre” will be playing their first gig at the Atomic Cantina on July 13th.

We will all just have to wait and see if a new band 40% less asshole is a good thing.

Write us your thoughts about this post. Play nice.