Nakatomi Plaza - Unsettled (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Nakatomi Plaza

Unsettled (2007)

Red Leader

Unsettled couldn't have been a more appropriate name for Nakatomi Plaza's "new" full-length. The poor band laid down the tracks in late 2004 and didn't get an "official" release -- the band self-released the record in 2005, presumably selling burned copies for those seeking it -- for it until Red Leader Records agreed to put it out there this past March. That's a pity, as Unsettled, is a creative, sprawling affair matching post-hardcore's angular tendencies with indie rock's rough flow and melody.

"Get Me My Meds" is a brief and bouncy, hyper sing/scream affair that brings to mind the At the Drive-In / Blood Brothers hybrids found on (good friends) Bullet Train to Vegas' We Put Scissors Where Our Mouths Are (granted this was probably recorded before it, but still). In fact, when the guitar tone seems to give off this eerie, semi-squealing echo and it's topped by Joel Remland's hushed vocals, it definitely recalls the same from Relationship of Command. Bizarre keyboards and Al Fair's pleading voice make "Not Hopeless" a sure standout. The two vocalists trade off well in "Red Room," which rolls through with crunchy guitars and sweet, mood-altering melodies. The somber, emotional resonance of "(Don't) Close Your Eyes" lightly reflects On the Might of Princes' softer moments, especially the sung line "dropped the ball to the ground."

J. Robbins complements Unsettled with a smooth and yet occasionally jagged recording that works perfect for Nakatomi Plaza. If you're a fan of original, introspective tunes with a unique sense of song structure, it's a good chance you'll get something out of Unsettled.

Not Hopeless
The Strikes

Stream Unsettled on Nakatomi Plaza's profile page