Origin: Hingham, Massachusetts
Genre: Street punk, Hardcore punk
Years active: 1993–Present
Brian “Chainsaw” Riley
Lower Class Crucifixion (1997) (originally released by VML Records, re-issued in 1998 by A-F Records)
So This Is Freedom (1999) (A-F Records)
The Anger & The Truth (2001) (BYO Records)
Explode (2003) (BYO Records)
State of Discontent (2005) (Hellcat Records)
Internal Salvation (2007) (Hellcat Records)
The Unseen is an American punk rock band that was formed in 1993 in Hingham, Massachusetts. One of the more prominent bands to revive street punk, The Unseen were originally called The Extinct.
The Unseen formed in Hingham, Massachusetts in 1993. They then moved to Boston, Massachusetts. Along with other street punk bands, they set out to revive the English street punk sound of the 1980s. The quintet also released a best-of compilation for the European market in June 2000 titled Totally Unseen: The Best Of The Unseen, which contained two previously unreleased tracks.
The group’s solid early line-up consisted of Tripp on bass and vocals, Scott on lead guitar, Civitarese on drums and vocals and Paul Russo on second guitar and vocals as well as drums and bass during live shows when the band switched instruments for certain songs. Most shows would begin with Russo and Tripp singing lead, and then the show would end with Paul playing drums and Civitarese singing lead. Russo went on to play in The Pinkerton Thugs as well as a solo project called The Strings.
Mark Unseen (real name: Mark Civitarese), who played drums on the band’s first few albums, became the lead singer after Paul Russo’s departure. He also formed and currently runs ADD Records. He briefly joined the Boston punk group A Global Threat as a second singer, and recorded the full-length What The Fuck Will Change? and Until We Die before deciding to concentrate on his duties with The Unseen. However shortly after his departure he and Unseen guitarist Scott along with Mike Graves and Peter Curtis (then both members of A Global Threat) formed Self Destruct. They released only one 7-inch EP entitled Violent Affair and played fewer than 10 shows but the musical style and lyrical content displayed on their one record would have great influence on all Unseen music to follow, helping to shape their future sound with Civitarese as lead singer. In 2010 Civitarese started a punk rock band called Ashers in and released a 7″ vinyl and full length album Kill Your Master. More recently Civitarese joined up with various member of Boston’s hardcore scene to form the hardcore/metal band Tenebrae..
There has been some controversy concerning the band, including allegations that in recent years[when?] they have “sold out”. Also that the band should have called it quits after losing Paul Russo and therefore their strong political message (Paul Russo wrote and sang most of ‘Lower Class Crucifixion’ and “So This Is Freedom?’). Most widely cited is the fact that The Unseen have produced music videos to air on commercial music video channels such as GMTV2, an avenue looked-down upon in the underground street punk scene which also goes against the political message of the first few albums. Darkbuster, a band from The Unseen’s area of origin, even released a joke song called “I Hate The Unseen”. Members of Darkbuster and The Unseen are friends.
They have toured Europe, North America, Australia, Japan, and Mexico with many punk bands from The Bouncing Souls and Rancid to decidedly more hardcore outfits like Hatebreed and Sick of It All. Since the departure of Russo, the band has used many replacements on tour such as members from The Virus, Strike Anywhere, and F-Minus, however, recently, on their MySpace page, The Unseen have included a fifth band member, Jonny, an ex-guitarist of A Global Threat who was in the band at the same time as Civitarese.
2006 also saw the release of Tripp’s book So This Is Readin’?, which details the life and hardships of being in an underground band with dry comedy. It started as a lengthy band history on the band’s website, but after a few amusing “chapters” he was contacted by a publishing company to release it in book form.
In May 2006, The Unseen announced on their official website that they would begin writing their sixth studio full-length album during the summer of that year. The album, titled Internal Salvation, came out on July 10, 2007. The first song released from that album is a track titled “Right Before Your Eyes” which was followed up by the track “Break Away”, for which the band shot a music video. In support of the new album, the band joined the thirteenth Warped Tour in 2007 and launched a US–Canada tour in March 2008.
The Unseen remained inactive, until May 25, 2013, when they played at Punk Rock Bowling at the Fremont Country Club in Las Vegas.