Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker
Questamation


3.5
great

Review

by Mike Stagno EMERITUS
July 11th, 2009 | 8 replies


Release Date: 2009 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Though Questamation is not quite the album anyone expected from Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, the album is just as rewarding as its predecessor.

According to turntablist Jason Parsons, Questamation was supposed to be Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker's "hello to the world". In many respects, he's right; though the duo's EP Welding the C:/ was a bit of a hit in the Greater Toronto Area – enough to drag them out of the total obscurity that saw each band member working jobs half way across North America – they didn't really hit it big anywhere else.

That Welding the C:/ was such a popular EP was somewhat surprising. Though carried by the strength of singles "2 15/16" and especially "Hollow Point Sniper Hyperbole", the group's brand of electronica and drum and bass on the other four tracks were kind of eccentric in the way only a group that calls themselves Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker could be eccentric. Questamation sees Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker change direction; the ambience and drum and bass influences have been done away with in favour of the more commercial friendly aspects of "Hollow Point Sniper", but that doesn't mean they've lost any of their weirdness or originality. Questamation's sound is still rather distinct and simply sees Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker taking it down a different direction.

None of the twelve tracks featured on Questamation are quite as good as "Hollow Point Sniper Hyperbole", but a few of them come close. "Cloudboy" and "Laces Out" are the most similar, fusing together a quirky amalgamation of rock and electronic music. The alleged grunge characteristics that are supposed to influence the band's sound are even more pronounced on "Stranger to Myself", a song structured around simple, yet effective guitar riffs. "PS. I Can Change" slows things down in a way Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker has never done before; in comparison to the peaceful ambience heard on a couple of Wielding the C:/'s songs, this track is more akin to a ballad, only without the sappy sounding effects. "Man Makes the Zoo" is a fast-paced piece similar to Questamation's first few tracks, differing in that it maintains more of an alternative rock sound than electronic rock, and is one of the album's strongest songs.

If anything, Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker spends too much of Questamation trying to achieve the flare of "Hollow Point Sniper Hyperbole". Though they don't exactly succeed in writing twelve replicas of "Hollow Point Sniper Hyperbole", Questamation's final product is almost as good and a tad bit less same-y that it would have been. Aside from the unfortunate "Stationary Robbery", a novelty rap that isn't funny, and the forgettable interlude, "Better Living Center", the weak points on Questamation are few. While the album isn't exactly what one would have expected from Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, Questamation remains a rewarding record listen to.



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user ratings (21)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Scott M. Baldwin (3.5)
Harmless indietronica for the masses... with a pulse....

jazzman23 (3)
Questamation is Quality. Not the band's best, but fans will want to make the purchase....

Archibald C. Burke (2.5)
USS finds themselves drowning amongst a myriad of bands that sacrificed their spark for (a chance at...

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Comments:Add a Comment 
LisbonGirls
July 11th 2009


832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

USS are one of the best bands I've ever seen live

ReturnToRock
July 11th 2009


3448 Comments


hey lisbongirls, are you from lisbon? i am a LisbonBoy

Mikesn
Emeritus
July 13th 2009


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

USS are one of the best bands I've ever seen live
I missed them back in March a couple days after this was released. I was kind of bummed, but I'm sure they'll be back soon.

Digging: Grimes - Visions

CrazyFool84
July 14th 2009


1080 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Nice job on the review, I guess I'm from the area where Welding the C:/ was popular so maybe that's why I'm more partial to it, but I just came seem to get into this one. I do like Laces Out though, and Cloud Boy may be a grower. I still have hopes for these guys though, lots of potential.

Mikesn
Emeritus
July 15th 2009


3709 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

The last three songs are growers too. Welding the C:/ is definitely better, and I can see how you're disappointed with this. I found it really enjoyable though, it was one of the albums I listened to a couple weeks back

LisbonGirls
July 16th 2009


832 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I've seen them three times already. Twice at the sound academy and once when they were doing a gig in Kitchener. They just get you so pumped up, its amazing.

hey lisbongirls, are you from lisbon?

Nope I'm Canadian bro.

ReturnToRock
July 20th 2009


3448 Comments


oh. curious alias, then.

gaslightanthem
July 20th 2009


5209 Comments


i know man crazy the idea of one guy listening to more than one genre



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