Unit (album)

Studio album by
Released7 November 1997
RecordedMay−August 1997
Studio"The Dirty Room", Brisbane, Australia
Length36:17 (Unit)
50:50 (Unit Re-Booted)
ProducerRegurgitator, Magoo
Regurgitator chronology
Singles from Unit
  1. "Everyday Formula"
    Released: October 1997
  2. "Black Bugs"
    Released: January 1998
  3. "Polyester Girl"
    Released: May 1998
  4. "! (The Song Formerly Known As)"/"Modern Life"
    Released: September 1998

Unit is the second studio album by Australian rock band Regurgitator, released in November 1997. Its style is a mixture of 1980s style synthesised pop music and alternative rock, with some hip hop influences. The album debuted and peaked at number 4 on the ARIA Charts. At the ARIA Music Awards of 1998, the album won five ARIA Music Awards; including ARIA Award for Album of the Year.

In October 1998, the album was re-released as Unit Re-Booted, which included the album's five music videos.

The album was re-issued on vinyl by Valve in October 2013.

Prior to recording[]

Regurgitator had just completed their eleventh extensive Australian tour (with The Fauves and Tomorrow People), when they planned to start recording a follow-up to their first album, Tu-Plang. This was delayed when the band decided to make their third trip to America to do a tour with bands Helmet and The Melvins. Yeomans said of the tour, "I remember being completely frightened the whole time. They were real hard-arses. Helmet were a little army unit, and their fans were fucking really intense, really aggressive guys. Yeah, really full-on. So maybe it did have an effect."[1] In 2008, manager Paul Curtis recalled that Yeomans had also stated "thank god Grinspoon came along because they took all the male angst away from our shows".[2]

The Dirty Room[]

Upon return, the group rented a condemned warehouse in Brisbane's Fortitude Valley to write and record Unit. They affectionately named this studio "The Dirty Room". Yeomans said, "Martin did a lot of the set up – Magoo as well – and they put in carpet underlay that they'd found somewhere that was just filthy. Ergh! It had this real soporific effect as soon as you walked in and you just wanted to fall asleep. One of the funny stories is Rob Cavallo coming in to have a listen to one of the tracks, and he just fell asleep on this piss-stained mattress we had lying on the ground. It was a really dingy vibe."[1]

Writing and recording[]

Professional ratings
Review scores

Regurgitator had begun experimenting with drum machines and synthesizers on their first album, Tu-Plang. Amongst the gear that Yeomans and Ely were using at the time was the Clavia Nord Lead, the Akai S3000XL, the Farfisa Super Bravo Organ and the newly released Roland MC-303 "Groovebox, which featured on a number of tracks including "Unit" and "Polyester Girl".[4] Ely stated that the track that ultimately helped the band decide the change in musical direction was the ironically-titled "I Like Your Old Stuff Better Than Your New Stuff", which began as a punk rock track with some keyboard but gradually "breaking it down with a more minimal keyboard heavy sound, leaving off most of the distorted guitar attack, and adding a vocoder gave the song something we were excited and terrified by at the same".[2][4] After 6 weeks of recording, the album was completed on 2 August 1997.

Cover art[]

The cover is a large, plain yellow circle centred on a plain silver background. On the outside surface of the jewel CD case is a transparent sticker with the words "REGURGITATOR" and "UNIT" printed in black for identification in stores. This minimalist design, cred to "The Shits" (Quan Yeomans and Janet English) and Ben Ely, won the 1998 ARIA award for best cover art.

Unit Re-Booted has very similar cover art, and came in four bright colour variations – lime green, purple, royal blue and peach-orange. On the re-releases, the title text was printed directly onto the paper.

Track listing[]

1."I Like Your Old Stuff Better Than Your New Stuff"B. Ely2:35
2."Everyday Formula"Q. Yeomans2:12
3."! (The Song Formerly Known As)"Q. Yeomans3:25
4."Black Bugs"B. Ely3:00
5."The World of Sleaze"Q. Yeomans3:25
6."I Piss Alone"Q. Yeomans2:05
7."Unit"B. Ely/M. Lee/Q. Yeomans1:42
8."I Will Lick Your Arsehole"Q. Yeomans3:20
9."Modern Life"B. Ely2:23
10."Polyester Girl"Q. Yeomans3:33
11."1234"B. Ely0:51
12."Mr T"B. Ely3:08
13."Just Another Beautiful Story"Q. Yeomans4:38
Total length:36:17
Re-Booted music videos
1."Everyday Formula"2:12
2."Black Bugs"3:00
3."Polyester Girl"3:33
4."! (The Song Formerly Known As)"3:25
5."Modern Life"2:23
Total length:14:33


Weekly charts[]

Chart (1997/99) Peak
Australian Albums (ARIA)[5] 4
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ)[6] 7

Year-end charts[]

Chart (1997) Position
Australian Albums Chart[7] 93
Chart (1998) Position
Australian Albums Chart[8] 20


Region Certification Certified units/sales
Australia (ARIA)[9] 3× Platinum 210,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


In October 2010, the album was listed in the top 30 in the book, 100 Best Australian Albums.[10] In July 2011, the album was voted 10th in Triple J's Hottest 100 Australian Albums of All Time. In December of 2021, the album was listed at no. 14 in Rolling Stone Australia’s ‘200 Greatest Albums of All Time’ countdown.[11]

Release history[]

Region Date Format Label Catalogue
Australia November 1997
EastWest Records 3984212761
United Kingdom 1998
  • CD
Australia October 1998
EastWest Records 3984252602
Australia October 2013 Valve Records V131V


  1. ^ a b Matt Shea (24 September 2012). "Regurgitator's 'Unit': 'It's A Really Weird Dot on the Landscape'". Mess and Noise. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  2. ^ a b "The Album Series – Regurgitator: Unit | media | triple j". Abc.net.au. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  3. ^ Unit at AllMusic
  4. ^ a b "Retrospective track-by-track: Regurgitator, Unit – Artists". The Music Network. Retrieved 12 November 2012.
  5. ^ "Australiancharts.com – Regurgitator – UNIT". Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  6. ^ "Charts.nz – Regurgitator – UNIT". Hung Medien. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  7. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Albums 1997". ARIA. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  8. ^ "ARIA Charts - End Of Year Charts - Top 100 Albums 1998". ARIA. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  9. ^ "ARIA Charts – Accrations – 1998 Albums" (PDF). Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  10. ^ O'Donnell, John; Creswell, Toby; Mathieson, Craig (October 2010). 100 Best Australian Albums. Prahran, Vic: Hardie Grant Books. ISBN 978-1-74066-955-9.
  11. ^ Rolling Stone’s 200 Greatest Australian Albums of All Time. Rolling Stone Australia, Rolling Stone Australia, 06 December 2021. Retrieved 06 December 2021.