Devoting the next year to complete the writing process, Nakatomi Plaza honed their songs before hometown crowds, while continuing to book their own tours of the East Coast and Midwest. With no label help, the band members emptied their hard-earned savings to record with J. Robbins (of Jawbox/Burning Airlines; producer/engineer of Jimmy Eat World, Against Me, The Dismemberment Plan, Engine Down, The Oranges Band, Shiner, Jets to Brazil, The Promise Ring, Braid). Calling it Unsettled, they pressed a first-run of the record themselves and set out on tour three times in 2005 to promote it.
While maintaining the visceral intensity of their hardcore roots, Nakatomi Plaza offer a considerably matured vision on Unsettled. Overflowing with virtuosic guitar work, three-part vocal harmonies, synth textures and otherworldly samples, the album packs an astounding depth and complexity, showcasing a phenomenal talent that still knows how to turn out a catchy chorus. From thrashy post-punk to melancholy indie-rock with shades of prog-inspired syncopation thrown in the mix, their eclectic song writing hints at a broad spectrum of influence. While compared to The Mars Volta for their dynamic bombast or Pretty Girls Make Graves for their split male/female vocals, Nakatomi Plaza draws inspiration from groups as different as Fugazi and The Kinks, My Bloody Valentine and Lifetime, MC5 and Dinosaur Jr.
Crafting a sound that defies easy classification, Nakatomi Plazas Unsettled sustains a furious momentum over eleven tracks, evolving at every turn, revealing layers of nuance with each listen. Conceived as a side-project of guitarist/singer Oscar Rodriguez in 1999, Nakatomi Plaza self-recorded and released its first full-length within months of forming, on Rodriguez's own BD Records. Bassist/singer Al Fair joined soon after and Nakatomi Plaza began playing out frequently, winning over local scenes from Louisville to upstate New York, Daytona to Vancouver. After recording the 7-song EP Private Property for indie Gunboat Records in 2001, Nakatomi Plaza solidified their lineup with the addition of guitarist/singer Joel Remland and hopped in the van for their first tour of the entire US and Canada.
With the breakup of his political hardcore-punk band De La Hoya, Rodriguez shifted his full attention to Nakatomi Plaza. After re-releasing Private Property as a full-length on Immigrant Sun Records, drummer Liam Hurley left the band. A half-dozen tours and two drummers later, they found Lou Maiolica in early 2005 and regrettably lost Joel Remland in the spring of 2006. For the last year and a half, the band has been touring consistently in anticipation of an early winter 2006 official release for "Unsettled" (to which Alternative Press gave 4 stars out of 5).
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