Following on from last year's Kid is Gone, the Numero Group unravels Rat Conspiracy - installment #2 in the label’s exhaustive 4-part Unwound reissue undertaking. This chapter introduces the Olympia, Washington, noise-punk trio anew, kicking off with hi-hat thwaks on “Dragnalus” from drummer Sara Lund, whose lockstep partnership with Justin Trosper and Vern Rumsey marked the forging of a 1990s indie-rock legend. The band’s advancing threat is captured in 32 tracks, a trove of house-show b&w period photographs, and a vivid 10,000-word narrative by latter-day Unwound diarist David Wilcox.
Rat Conspiracy, its name a one-time working title for Unwound’s 1993 debut— the earliest Kill Rock Stars LP — brings the roiling, watershed Fake Train into natural integration with its sibling record, 1994’s New Plastic Ideas, on which the band “branch[ed] out into propulsive odd meters...and traumatic contrasts between loud and soft, pulling the arty riffage into much tighter focus.” [Trouser Press]. Both get exacting remasters and replica sleeve treatment, while the set’s third LP tracks Unwound’s restless work toward synthesis with the Mkultra and Negated 7” material, previously unissued radio sessions, indie comp rarities, and the spidery Minutemen cover “Plight.”
The 3xLP plus Bonus LP is mail-order only and includes a special bonus LP containing a demo version of Fake Train recorded by Nation of Ulysses' Tim Green is also up for grabs.