The world doesn’t really need another hardcore, gothic-styled group, and The Union Underground certainly fits into that unnecessary category. ...An Education in Rebellion is full of heavy sounds and loud, annoying lyrics that are almost impossible to understand. That’s not to say that the hardcore genre should be easy to understand, but let’s just say The Union Underground is a lot more challenging to decipher than most.
The group is comprised of vocalist and guitarist Bryan Scott, guitarist Patrick Kennison, bass player John Moyer, and drummer Josh Memolo. ...An Education in Rebellion marks their debut project with Portrait Records, also the home of heavy groups like Iron Maiden and Great White.
The album starts out with a pointless, sound effects based introduction conveniently called”...An Education in Rebellion”. That minute long song was truly a waste of CD space, but so is the rest of the album.
Take for instance the distorted guitar laden “Natural High”, during which Scott shouts out numerous expletives rather than putting together a complete sentence of thoughts. Another track which features distortion overkill is “Revolution”. It starts out slowly and builds up just a bit as the track goes on, while Scott’s voice painfully wails in agony about someone’s suicide.
The album is full of dark themes, like the depressing “Trip with Jesus”, and the disturbing “Turn Me on Mr. Deadman”. The latter sounds like something The Rollins Band could have taken a stab at.
The tune “South Texas Deathride” bears similarity to a few other new hard edged bands in the scene, like Apartment 26 or Grand Theft Audio. Although The Union Underground is in the same peer group as those bands, they are far from their level of excellence and tight playing style that the others have achieved.