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The Unicorns - Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?

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Artist: The Unicorns

Album: Who Will Cut Our Hair When We're Gone?

Label: Alien8

Review date: Nov. 24, 2003

Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone? seems to be an appropriate album title for a band that seems to be constantly on the move, both physically and musically. Originating from Campbell River, British Columbia, and gestating in Montreal, The Unicorns currently reside in a forever wandering Winnebago. After listening to their new album, the music obviously wanders as much and as far as the band behind it.

Formed by two rather volatile friends, Nicolas “Neil” Diamonds and Alden Ginger (later augmented by drummer Jamie Tambour), The Unicorns make what can best be described as “naïve” music. The pop smarts are there, but wrapped in a not-unappealing veneer of reckless abandon and total disregard for musical trends and current styles. It’s not the least bit surprising that they’ve opened for Daniel Johnston.

Reports of live shows tell of practically anything happening on a given night, from puppet shows to out and out fisticuffs between the musicians. That may seem like a recipe for disaster, but this kind of personal tension often yields surprisingly interesting musical dividends. The boys have admitted in interviews that the band could implode at a moment’s notice, but somehow they manage to not only stay together, but to flourish musically in a way that most other bands can only dream about.

The Unicorns manage to polish an array of pawn shop instruments into miniature masterpieces. From their signature “I Was Born (to Be a Unicorn)” to the “trilogy” of “Tuff Ghost”, “Ghost Mountain” and “Sea Ghost” (linked in title only), they’re never afraid to investigate new angles, even if the end result sometimes sounds like your baby sister banging on a Casio keyboard.

Like an unstable isotope, The Unicorns could very well have disintegrated from their collective creative tension, by the time you read this but in the meantime, they’ve at least managed a minor miracle with Who Will Cut Our Hair When We’re Gone?.

By Scott Stevens

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