Review Summary: A surprisingly unconvential, radio-friendly duo loads this EP to the brim with talent, charisma, and potential.
Coming from the outskirts of several suburbs of the Greater Toronto Area in Ontario, Canada, this dynamic duo – their music situated around a myriad of influences – have made (at least local) waves since their inception in 2007. Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker
, perhaps better known to their fanbase as USS
, blend a unique mix of drum and bass, crunchy, grungy guitar riffs, electronica and folk, amongst other styles that worm their way into their music. From humble beginnings working on a golf course to a lack of faith in their music that led guitarist/vocalist Ash Buchholz and turntablist Jason Parsons to separate pilgrimages on opposite ends of the continent. Only after the bands debut offering, the Welding the C:/
EP was picked up by Toronto rock-radio kingpin 102.1 the Edge and placed into heavy rotation.
USS is perhaps best known for the object of this rotation, the immensely popular single Hollow Point Sniper Hyperbole
, though this track does little justice in showcasing the whole of USS’ sound. The six-track EP starts with what would become the disc’s second single, 2 and 15/16ths
, a raw ensemble of drum and bass and ambient electronic noise. This eventually melds into a two-step style tempo somewhat reminiscent of reggae, though this probably isn’t the best description. The structure here is a good example of how USS
’ music works. Buchholz vocals have a haunting quality about there, most noticeably on this and the next track, bordering along emo shores without every fully drifting there. A reggae/ska vibe transfers to energy soaked Hollow Point Sniper Hyperbole
, though upon more in-depth listens the core electronic elements of the band’s style becomes more and more apparent. This is definitely the catchiest track on Welding the C:/
, with little doubt that this was the lone solider that found heavy radio favouritism. If there’s anything that can try the somewhat random feel of the tracklist together, it’s the energy that these two seem to possess; judging from live videos and recordings (but admittedly no personal experience) this energy transfers to the bands stage presence. Drop Around the Clock
follows suit with the two-step rhythm, with Buchholz opting for a bit of an off sounding “rap”, while its follower Form Onederful
is a drum and bass led instrumental with ambient touches. Porno Star Trek
is ridiculously named, but is probably the most vocally revelling track on the EP. Here Ash’s vocals seem much more venerable, coupled with the led of his acoustic guitar and backed with Parsons random, suiting sound effects. The EP ends with Turquoise 1:11
another drum and bass soaked instrumental coupled with an electronically voiced narration.
The overall sum of this EP is that this band is dripping with potential. Though a little too short to really get a true feel, USS creates a multi-spectrum soundscape on Welding the C:/
. Be it through a straightforward delivery or by means of something more ambient and experimental, this music both pleases the ear and makes it hungry for more.