Here is a hardcore history lesson kids. One I will tell you upfront I just tought myself. Unbroken. This is some of the roots of hardcore. This release is basically a packaging of two of the bands earlier releases. “Ritual” (1993 – 8 songs) and the most influencial “life.love.regret” (1994 – 9 songs). The band was very short lived (roughly ’91 -’95), and since hardcore doesn’t really “break out” of San Diego, the band dissolved into the history of hardcore.
They were doing the SxE thing back when it actually seemed to mean something in the scene. And since there isn’t much hope of the band getting back together, this is one to fill out the collections.
Musically, Unbroken have a good sense of hardcore breakdowns, but throw in a solid chunk of rock and take some chances on the structures. Songs move and flow to reflect mood and rarely stand on a single idea for too long. Either the vocals are doubled in the studio, or the backing vocals thicken this a lot. Some well written liner notes show the impact this band had on some people, and there are hardcore bands to this day that readily state their influence (and one on the east coast who even took the life.love.regret album title as the name for their band.)
The production reflects the minimal budgets involved, but this is far from under-produced. Of the two releases, I can see where “life.love.regret” is the more progressive of the two as “Ritual” seems more concerned with riffage and punching with a single chord. Good stuff all around though. You can easily draw lines from this to a lot of what is going on 10 years later in hardcore. While Unbroken certainly didn’t invent the genre, they sure put a San Diego sized dent in it.