Monday, 22nd January 2018. 9:11:40pm ET


ARTIST: USSA
ALBUM: The Spoils
LABEL: Fuzz Music
REVIEWER: Matthew J.
DATE: 4-28-08

USSA- The Spoils

The team-up of former Ministry and Revolting Cocks bassist Paul Barker and Duane Denison of The Jesus Lizard and Tomahawk, USSA isn't exactly what you might expect. While Barker's signature bass guitar throb is definitely there, pummeling away like a dying jackhammer on the feedback-heavy "Sugarwater," the album as a whole is less industrial than stoner rock, sharing more in common with The Queens of the Stone Age than with Ministry. Denison's guitar work ranges from crunchy power chords on "Dead Voices" to to driving, punk-inspired chunks of overdrive on "Cruel Beauty" to abrasive dissonance on the aptly titled "Wasteland." In keeping with a more purist hard rock aesthetic, lead vocalist Gary Call works the microphone in a number of interesting ways, but always emphasizing his human side; whether it be the pitiable yet aggressive drawling of "Blue Light," the depressive droning echoes of "Middletown," or the exasperated yowling of "Cab Ride," Call's voice is a raw expression of personal torment rather than a burst of rage coldly directed at society as a whole. Incorporating hints of metal, punk, and grunge, this is at heart a rock album, not an industrial one, but it's a very good one. Old-school Ministry fans drawn to it through the Paul Barker connection may or may not be pleased, but fans of abrasive, experimental rock music should be very happy indeed.

Check out USSA at ussa.fuzz.com.


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