uniSEF – Discography


Sometimes even a simple band photo on the album cover can tell you a lot about the album. Such is the case with the uniSEF Discography. Cut-off band shirts, sleeveless jean jacket and a prominent Mohawk tell you right away that this should be an old-school punk rock album, and in this case, the picture doesn’t lie. Those familiar with the genre know what to expect, and it’s all here. Fast guitars and drums, short, to the point songs, distinctive vocals, catchy sing-along parts, and lyrics challenging the listener are in abundance in this discography. uniSEF bring a mix of punk, ska, and Oi to their songs, making this a great listen and leave me wishing I was able to make it to Boise, Idaho while they were still around.

One of bad things about reviewing a discography is that it typically means that the band is no longer around and that is the case with uniSEF. uniSEF began as a solo project in 2003 with Sef Stephan laying down all the music and vocals for the project. After some retooling of the songs for an acoustic, coffeehouse setting and some performances, Sef met Tyler who brought in the drummer from another band he was in and uniSEF as a band was born. Between 2004 and 2009 uniSEF had several releases including: Change the Word demo (2005), Can These Bones Live EP (2007), Death and Revolution split 7” (2008) and Ransom album (2009). The discography contains all the tracks of those releases.

As one would expect with a discography covering the entire career of a band, you can definitely hear a maturity taking place in their sound. What started out as very raw, becomes more polished. In some genres this is good thing, but typically in punk rock, you would want that rawness and intensity to stay. Thankfully, uniSEF managed to keep the intensity and rawness in their music while the sound improved. Influences abound and are many of what you’d expect for this genre. Listeners should be able to pick out sounds reminiscent of The Bouncing Souls, The Deal, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Rancid, Green Day, Face to Face, and maybe even some old Suicidal Tendencies. What’s important though is that uniSEF is not a copycat band by any means.

As is common with the genre, shorts are typically two minutes long or less and played at breakneck speed. Vocals in this genre can make or break a band and Sef’s vocals fit the music very well and are distinctive enough to keep the songs interesting and help uniSEF stand out a bit amongst their peers. The vocals have a somewhat sneering, snotty tone to them that grabs your attention and the shouted gang backing vocals fit perfectly. Lyrically, punk rock can challenge the listener and tends to either rail against something in society or against personal behaviors. uniSEF does both of these and makes great use of catchy choruses and singalong parts that stick with you long after the song is over. The song “Decay” starts out with the lines “Moral decay is coming your way, this is a trend in the USA…” and I can’t help but find myself joining in and then repeating that over and over later in the day. Like most punk bands, uniSEF wear their hearts on their sleeves and their Christian beliefs are readily obvious. “Put your trust in Jesus Christ, He gave His life for you…” are lyrics from the song “Hope”, which is one of the songs of encouragement on the album and those songs provide a good contrast from the songs of warning and protest against society.

The demo tracks provide a good bit of perspective on how the songs developed and in that respect are always interesting to me, but what is most interesting is how well some of the songs translated into the acoustic setting. On the surface, I never used to think punk bands could pull off acoustic performances, but I’ve seen and heard some great acoustic tracks lately from punk bands like True Liberty and Saint Hooligan (both also on Thumperpunk Records) and hearing these songs by uniSEF further solidifies my thoughts around how well these songs can translate into the acoustic setting.

Overall, this is a great collection of punk rock songs and the discography contains some nice extras like the demos and acoustic tracks that are worth a listen as well. Being a discography and containing all recorded material by an artist, you would be right to expect there are some songs on here that don’t work very well, but those are minor and in comparison to the rest of the tracks and keeping in mind this is a complete collection, they don’t detract from the overall experience.

Rating: 9/10

Written By John Jackson

Track List:
1.This Means War
2. Ransom
3. Live It
4. Nothing To Hide
5. Frank
6. Decay
7. Unisef
8. You Don’t Know Him
9. Dead to the World
10. Nmor
11. City Of Refuge
12. Drive Thu Amerika
13. Hope
14. Sike
15. What We’ve Got
16. Give Your All
17. Bones
18. What’s That
19. The Worst
20. Turn Off Your Radio
21. Paulie
22. Change The World
23. Ammends
24. Take A Chance
25. Fifty-Two
26. All Sincerity
27. Change The World (Demo Version)
28. The Worst (Demo Version)
29. Turn Off Your Radio (Demo Version)
30. Run Around Sue
31. Hangin Tough
32. Fifty-Two (Original)
33. Get Back Up
34. All Sincerity (Acoustic)
35. Change The World (Acoustic)
36. The Worst (Acoustic)
37. Carry Me
38. Change The World (Live)
39. The Wars End
40. All Sincerity (Live)
41. Chipmunk Hope

Band Members:
Sef Stephan: guitars, vocals
Tyler: bass, vocals
Kevin: drums

Weblinks: Facebook

Record Label: Thumper Punk Records, 2012

uniSEF interview from 2008


One Reply to “uniSEF – Discography”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Posts