So This Is Readin?: By Tripp Underwood, 6x audio CD By Mrz

Jan 16, 2007

I know who The Unseen are and I have three of their albums. Even so, when I got this audio CD to review, I was unsure how into it I’d be. The premise? The bassist, Tripp, wrote a book about his experiences in The Unseen. Alongside the paperback version of his story, Hopeless opted to have the author record a four-disc audio version, and this is what I held in my hands. Assuming I’d listen to a bit of it and bore quickly, I popped the first CD in. Instantly, the story gripped me. Tripp starts from the very humble formation in his parents’ garage back in high school, and spins a tale of luck, failures, successes (small and large) and all out havoc, chaos, and fun. Not a squeaky clean recording, but once you’re immersed in the story that no longer matters, only the stories do. When the band gets paid, or finishes putting down tracks for a new album, or meets Mick Jones in a London McDonald’s, or drink beers with Japanese punks in the ruins of a building in Nagasaki, you are in awe of their experiences. When the band nearly cracks from the stresses of being away from home so much, or nearly get arrested by a baseball bat-wielding freak or when their vans break down mid-tour, you can’t help but feel their grief. The rare Unseen songs in between a few of the chapters were pretty darn cool, too. I love audio books, and this was no exception. If you’ve ever been in a band, any band, whether you hit it as big as The Unseen have or not, this story will definitely be of interest to you. –Mr. Z (Hopeless, PO Box 7495, Van Nuys, CA 91409)