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MP3 The United - Blood And Iron

This debut album recalls the raw grit of the highly energetic 1920''s Jazz Age melodies with a vintage hardcore power presentation.

14 MP3 Songs in this album (45:02) !
Related styles: ROCK: Hard Rock, METAL/PUNK: Hardcore Punk

People who are interested in Dropkick Murphys Ignite AFI should consider this download.

For many it was known as The Great War, The First World War, or The War to End All Wars. Forty million died. Whole nations were gutted, torn asunder and rebuilt from scratch.

For the members of The United – Sebastian, Black Thumb Jack, Ericksen, Bateman, and Marshall – it was the singular event that defined them and brought them together. They were “Air Aces,” Knights of the Sky who piloted their battered British Sopwith Camel fighter planes – each one emblazoned with the five star insignia that would become their trademark – into dogfight after bloody dogfight over the scorched European soil. There are no reliable records out there to tell us how many German Fokkers these boys took down, but even celebrated Ace Eddie Rickenbacker was rumored to have said of them “(they are) … five of the hardest shooting sonsaguns up there. I’m glad I’ve got them on my side.”

Americans all, The United entered the war by volunteering for the badly outgunned British Royal Air Corps. By the time the United States entered the conflict in 1917, the fighting five were renowned throughout Europe for their aerial prowess, their unflinching courage in the face of unspeakable danger, their blistering firepower … and, of course, for the carousing, hard-drinking lives they lead when on the ground. Musicians as well as Air Aces, they formed a five-piece ragtime jazz band that rocked PAs on Air Corps bases throughout the south of France. Times were hard, but they made the best of what they had. Other men wanted to be them, as the saying goes, and the ladies wanted to be with them.

The end of the war saw the dissolution The United. Each man went his separate way. A few of them worked farms throughout the Midwest, flying crop dusters during the day and playing dirty jazz in smoke-filled bars through the night. Others headed East and joined the burgeoning Harlem Renaissance. They drank hard, lived hard and loved hard, but none of them forgot the bond they had shared and each of them yearned to once again come together, make music, and take to the skies.

Their opportunity came with Prohibition. Bathtub whiskey and bootlegging became the norm, and demand was high for skilled and stealthy pilots to run rum from the Caribbean back to the States. The five men found themselves back together again in 1920, making midnight booze runs from Cuba to Miami, from the Bahamas to the Carolinas. Blood was in the streets but business was booming in the blind pigs and speakeasies around the country and cheap whiskey ran from wooden kegs like water.

The work was dangerous but rewarding, both in money and in thrills, and The United decided to pool their resources together to open their own speakeasy in New Orleans in the mid-1920s. The place was renowned for the quality of the liquor, the looseness of the women … and of course, for the music. The United took to the stage night after night, knocking back tumblers of their own home-distilled liquor as they banged out rowdy bluegrass and ragtime and worked their crowd into a Charleston fever.

The coming of the Great Depression in 1929 hit the country hard, but business was still good for the boys of The United. To keep up with demand they found themselves making more and more dangerous midnight runs throughout the Caribbean.

Then, one night while flying across the Bermuda Triangle from Nassau Island with their good friend and “business partner” John O’Malley, The United vanished without a trace.

That should have been the end of the story, and was for more than 70 years. Their New Orleans speakeasy was boarded up, then demolished and paved over to make room for a Walgreens parking lot. Their names and accomplishments … and, of course, their music … were lost to the mists of time.

That should have been the end of the story. But a new chapter began when their plane suddenly emerged over the skies of Albuquerque, New Mexico, in the early 2000s. No one – perhaps not even the bootleggers themselves – knows exactly how they got there. But there are rumors. Some say the portal to Hell outside of Lordsburg opened up and coughed them out into the sky. Others say they flew through a micro black hole between Nassau and Miami and subverted the space-time continuum. Others, of course, blame it on the aliens. Whatever the case, The United were back and ready to raise hell.

Upon landing in the desert outside Albuquerque and making their way into the dusty city, The United were pleased to learn that Prohibition had been lifted, even if it did mean the end of their livelihood. After a few failed attempts to make it back to where (and when)_ they came from, they decided to devote their lives to what they love best: flying, drinking, and making music. But they realized that music had changed drastically over the years. They would need to update their sound to remain relevant. So they threw themselves into Albuquerque’s underground punk scene and discovered the missing piece of the equation: hardcore.

The music they make today could be described as hardcore, but that’s not the way they see it. They don’t really care about the label. “Maybe someday someone will say we are this or that and we’ll say yep that''s it. Until then we just do what we do.”

To The United, hardcore and punk best evoke the bygone outlaw days of the speakeasies and bootleg whiskey that they loved so much. They’ve managed to combine the urgency of hardcore with the ragtime and jazz they were founded on. They still make music for drunk people in dingy clubs, but they urge their audience to imbibe responsibly and not be assholes about it. “That’s what caused Prohibition … of a bunch of flipping drunkards!” That said, they still brew their own beer, whiskey, and absinthe.

As to why they dress the way they do, the answer is simple: “That''s the way a man should dress ... with a little dignity and respect.”

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