unity cover(Unity LP variant by Jeff Cheung)

With demos sneaking online as far back as November 2013, Unity began as a songwriting outlet for Oakland-based artist and musician Jeff Cheung, known around the Bay for his sparse line drawings and paintings depicting male intimacy. Superficially, Unity sounds similar to Jeff’s other project, Meat Market, a garage rock foursome relocated from Santa Cruz, but the arrangements are simpler, and the sound more introspective.

Filled out on drums by Gabe Ramirez, the group performed as a two-piece for several months before being joined by a second guitar player and eventually another two members from Meat Market. Performances featured limited runs of demoed cassettes and seemingly endless prints adorned with Cheung’s gangly characters, the line between band and art collective blurring as the group began releasing zines under the umbrella ‘Unity Press’.

(Illustration by Jeff Cheung)

After countless Bay Area shows and brief trip to New York, the now 5-piece band have fleshed out 10 songs and announced their debut LP on the recently revived Oakland label Digital Regress. Began simply as a way to put his college band’s tape out, Ronny Langford has been bringing Digital Regress back to life, announcing a 7″ from the East Bay’s Toner and a new LP from Violence Creeps. Unity’s self-titled 12″ arrives this July, and judging from the tracks available in the LP preview, it’s fantastic. Listen below, and catch their performance tonight at San Francisco’s Painted Bird in celebration of the book release/art show Composite + Cognition.

Toner, Unity, Pumpkin
Painted Bird
April 22, 2016
7:30pm, FREE