When you hear the band name Union Cell and then see the cover of their debut album titled “All the Pretty Things” (Forward Motion Records), you might think of a death metal band full of Slayer t-shirt wearing, ‘roid raging, head banging dudes. Well you couldn’t be further off base if you tried. Union Cell is one man’s emotional baggage laid out through slow music and turbulent half-spoken lyrics. Singer/songwriter, Gabriel Garcia-Menocal went through some dark times while writing this album and it is easily noticed in every beat throughout all 10 tracks on the album. The project is one of Gabriel’s first ventures with writing english lyrics, previously the Cuban-American musician from Miami, Florida lent his talents to a couple of Spanish bands in the area before starting this solo project he calls Union Cell.
Each song on the album could be seen as an individual character from a dramatic and crestfallen opera. Alone, each track has is own sorrow to describe but feels a little empty and lost, when brought together however, Gabriel’s opus guides the listener through a journey of their own hidden emotions. “All the Pretty Things” is a truthful album that unfortunately doesn’t place priority on composition but rather story telling. The lyrics are accessible but often too direct, lacking in the poetic language that is necessary when writing material meant to have such a depth. Overall the album has a story worth telling, but in such a way that one shouldn’t listen too long or too closely for fear of being drawn down into a deep depression along with the band, caution is advised. We aren’t likely to see Union Cell touring outside of Florida anytime soon, but their album is available through iTunes and other outlets, so check them out.