United Mutation – Rainbow Person

United Mutation – Rainbow Person Infinite Regression, Fat Louie, Take Your Pick // Zone, Manna (DSI Records) 1985. Chances are that if you haven’t heard United Mutation and you are being introduced to them by this post, that you may not like them. Chances are that if you have heard United Mutation, then you are already familiar with this great 7inch. Which means chances are, this post is relatively pointless. However, chances are that I also don’t give a fuck because I want to stake my claim on United Mutation. I want it duly noted that I love this band and everything they stood for. When interplanetary explorers unearth the remains of our civilization and execute a blog search on Google using some unholy wayback machine, I want them to not only understand that United Mutation were one of the greatest exports of the early 1980s DC hardcore scene but also that Joe Stumble was a fan. The reasons I regard UM so highly are legion; they played a distinctly lysergic form of hardcore in the city that invented straight edge, their records rocked like hell and they were hilariously funny. This disk was their second and it was a light speed progression from their first which was released as a split with Dischord records. Not to say the Fugitive Family EP is poor by any extension…it’s one of the best hardcore blasts from the DC scene I can think of. But by the time they got to recording Rainbow Person, United Mutation had really perfected this idea of psychedelic hardcore. John Fox’s guitar is all over the place with these weird reverberated flourishes and the songs wash in and out and seem unstructured. A weaker singer would have made this a much mellower record I think but singer Mike Brown was one of the original gruff hardcore vocalists and he helps add an aggressive edge to all of the sonic experimentation. Like Mike says at the beginning of this great EP “You wouldn’t believe the songs I write.” Lost and Found and Bitzcore have both released posthumous compilations of United Mutation and you should be able to find them on the interwebs if you are interested.

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10 Responses to United Mutation – Rainbow Person

  1. Brushback says:

    I had the first United Mutation 7″ and some compilation that they were on, but didn’t really think much of it. Maybe I’ll give this one a shot.

  2. Brushback says:

    By the way, Joe, since you like noisy Void-type stuff, have you heard Raw Nerve (from Chicago)? Some of it’s not too bad, if you step around the hype…

  3. Ograwker says:

    Great post Joe! I’m glad I’m not the only one who thinks UM was one of the greatest bands to come out of D.C. One listen of these guys and they make all other D.C. bands sound like Hanson. No doubt favorite track off this one is Manna. But I think their greatest was one their last works. Sensation Fix off the Alive & Kicking compilation is UM at their best. Just an opinion.

  4. chris g says:

    wild stuff man, stalin vibes, but scarier

  5. Joe says:

    Brushback – I’m checking out Raw Nerve now. dl’ed the EP from here:

    http://fashionableactivism.blogspot.com/2009/10/raw-nerve-teens-in-heat.html

    So far as you described. No Void to be sure but the song “Teens in Heat” is pretty awesome.

  6. MRow says:

    Damn, Joe – this stuff really makes me miss all that righteous acid floating around back then. Hippies were this wanna-be punker’s best friend when FRYING HARD!

  7. Holly says:

    Zone & Manna appear to be the same song….is a reup of the missing song possible?

  8. Joe says:

    fixed! Sorry about that Holly…

  9. MaxBenign says:

    Holy crap, Joe, what manner of fuckery is this? Goddamn if this isn’t rocking my skull. Some of these vocals…wtf!?…like some black metal yowler fell out the back end of a time machine into ’85.

    “Reality makes me sick…” Dude even talks like one of those necro guys. Love it, thanks.

  10. jay fox says:

    Thanks for the great comments. Just to let you know UM/DSI records has re-released the 1st 2 eps on one cd. It should be available soon from Dischord Records. We also played 2 shows this past summer in the DC area, and will more then likely do more in the coming year. Also talking about possible new cd, if we have time to record one. We did record a brand new song a couple of years ago that follows in the vein of Rainbow Person b side, kind of trippy with lots of stuff going on. Thanks again.
    Jay Fox UM

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