Before their breakup in 2007, the revered Cotati quartet the Rum Diary found a coveted sweet spot between catchiness and experimentalism that took in both '90s emo-core and '70s space rock. Though the group is but a memory now, three-fourths of the band forged on to form Shuteye Unison, who are if nothing else stranger than the Rum Diary.
All the songs on Shuteye Unison's debut album, Our Future Selves, are distinct enough to sound as if they had been written and recorded by entirely different bands. Think Fugazi-esque post-punk grooves, mellow piano-based pop ditties and quirky prog-rock jams, and that's the tip of the iceberg. Our Future Selves is a handcrafted album resulting from what's obviously a lot of work—this almost ridiculous amount of labor even extends to the packaging of the vinyl, with a custom bookmark and a library card.
Most interesting about Shuteye Unison is that between all the instrumental layering and genre-tinkering, their songs have one thing in common: they ride the line of sounding both intimate and larger than life. Shuteye Unison play with Teenage Sweater and Survival Guide on Thursday, Feb. 23, at Christy's on the Square. 96 Old Courthouse Square, Santa Rosa. 9pm. $5. 707.707.528.8565.