|Studio album by Regurgitator|
|Released||November 1997 (Unit)
19 October 1998 (Unit Re-Booted)
|Recorded||"The Dirty Room", Brisbane Australia, in 1997|
|Genre||Alternative rock, electronica, electropop|
50:50 (Unit Re-Booted)
Unit is the second full-length album by Australian band Regurgitator, released in November 1997. Its style is a mixture of 1980s style synthesised pop music and alternative rock, with some hip hop influences. It was widely successful, receiving overwhelmingly positive reviews and five of the songs featured broke into the commercial mainstream, mostly due to their popularity with alternative radio stations (Triple J especially). On 19 October 1998, the album was re-released as Unit Re-Booted, which included the album's five video clips. In 1998, Unit won 5 ARIA awards, and in 1999, it went triple platinum, eventually selling over 240,000 copies.
The album was re-issued on vinyl by Valve in October 2013.
Prior to recording
Regurgitator had just completed their eleventh extensive Australian tour (with The Fauves and Tomorrow People), when they planned to start recording a follow-up to their first album, Tu-Plang. This was delayed when the band decided to make their third trip to America to do a tour with bands Helmet and The Melvins. Yeomans said of the tour, "I remember being completely frightened the whole time. They were real hard-arses. Helmet were a little army unit, and their fans were fucking really intense, really aggressive guys. Yeah, really full-on. So maybe it did have an effect." In 2008, manager Paul Curtis recalled that Yeomans had also stated "thank god Grinspoon came along because they took all the male angst away from our shows".
The Dirty Room
Upon return, the group rented a condemned warehouse in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley to write and record Unit. They affectionately named this studio "The Dirty Room". Yeomans said, "Martin did a lot of the set up – Magoo as well – and they put in carpet underlay that they'd found somewhere that was just filthy. Ergh! It had this real soporific effect as soon as you walked in and you just wanted to fall asleep. One of the funny stories is Rob Cavallo coming in to have a listen to one of the tracks, and he just fell asleep on this piss-stained mattress we had lying on the ground. It was a really dingy vibe."
Writing and recording
Regurgitator had begun experimenting with drum machines and synthesizers on their first album, Tu-Plang. Amongst the gear that Yeomans and Ely were using at the time was the Clavia Nord Lead, the Akai S3000XL, the Farfisa Super Bravo Organ and the newly released Roland MC-303 "Groovebox, which featured on a number of tracks including "Unit" and "Polyester Girl". Ely stated that the track that ultimately helped the band decide the change in musical direction was the ironically-titled "I Like Your Old Stuff Better Than Your New Stuff", which began as a punk rock track with some keyboard but gradually "breaking it down with a more minimal keyboard heavy sound, leaving off most of the distorted guitar attack, and adding a vocoder gave the song something we were excited and terrified by at the same". After 6 weeks of recording, the album was completed on 2 August 1997.
- "Everyday Formula" is based on the film Tron, with singer Quan sucked into a computer program (via laser beam) and is forced to play the first game in the film.
- "Black Bugs" is a computer animation of cartoon animal versions of the four band members.
- "Polyester Girl" is computer animation of shiny chrome women.
- "! (The Song Formerly Known As)" is simply the band members miming the song on the busy streets and subways of Tokyo.
- "Modern Life" is about the life of a textile worker.
- Another music video produced by Yeomans and English that was not released on Unit Re-Booted was "I Like Your Old Remix Better Than Your New Remix", the B-side to "The Fourth Single from Unit". It featured animated versions of the band members (including session keyboardist Shane Rudkin) in both a virtual Pac-Man-esque setting and a Frogger-esque creek full of crocodiles. This video was the only one not featured on the re-release and is available on the single.
The cover is a large, plain yellow circle centred on a plain silver background. On the outside surface of the jewel CD case is a transparent sticker with the words "REGURGITATOR" and "UNIT" printed in black for identification in stores. This minimalist design, credited to "The Shits" (Quan Yeomans and Janet English) and Ben Ely, won the 1998 ARIA award for best cover art.
Unit Re-Booted has very similar cover art, and came in four bright colour variations – lime green, purple, royal blue and peach-orange. On the re-releases, the title text was printed directly onto the paper.
|1.||"I Like Your Old Stuff Better Than Your New Stuff"||B. Ely||2:35|
|2.||"Everyday Formula"||Q. Yeomans||2:12|
|3.||"! (The Song Formerly Known As)"||Q. Yeomans||3:25|
|4.||"Black Bugs"||B. Ely||3:00|
|5.||"The World of Sleaze"||Q. Yeomans||3:25|
|6.||"I Piss Alone"||Q. Yeomans||2:05|
|7.||"Unit"||B. Ely/M. Lee/Q. Yeomans||1:42|
|8.||"I Will Lick Your Arsehole"||Q. Yeomans||3:20|
|9.||"Modern Life"||B. Ely||2:23|
|10.||"Polyester Girl"||Q. Yeomans||3:33|
|12.||"Mr T"||B. Ely||3:08|
|13.||"Just Another Beautiful Story"||Q. Yeomans||4:38|
|Re-Booted music videos|
|4.||"! (The Song Formerly Known As)"||3:25|
This was the second, and last, Regurgitator album to be pressed on vinyl until 2011 when SuperHappyFunTimeFriends was released.
The singles from this album in Australia are:
- "Everyday Formula"
- "Black Bugs"
- "Polyester Girl"
- "The Fourth Single from Unit" (Double A-side which included "! (The Song Formerly Known As)" and "Modern Life. It also included "I Like Your Old Remix Better Than Your New Remix" as the B-side).
A rumoured fifth single, "Just Another Beautiful Story", was never released.
"Everyday Formula" was featured on The Wildhearts covers album Stop Us If You've Heard This One Before, Vol 1. In October 2010, the album was listed in the top 30 in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums. In July 2011, the album was voted 10th in Triple J's Hottest 100 Australian Albums of All Time.
- Unit at AllMusic
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 11 June 2011. Retrieved 29 July 2010.
- Matt Shea (24 September 2012). "Regurgitator's 'Unit': 'It's A Really Weird Dot on the Landscape'". Mess and Noise. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
- "The Album Series – Regurgitator: Unit | media | triple j". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- "Retrospective track-by-track: Regurgitator, Unit – Artists". The Music Network. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
- O'Donnell, John; Creswell, Toby; Mathieson, Craig (October 2010). 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Vic: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9.