A few weeks ago I posted an entry about a band called Chromeo wherein I said that I thought they were pretty cool. Well, they’re alright, but they don’t have the amazing staying power of a first-class act. They’re slightly novel, and that’s about it. However, in the comments of that entry, an old college buddy of mine (doesn’t that make me sound like I’m 40-something?) suggested that I try out a group called United State of Electronica, or U.S.E. for short.
Oh my goodness do I love me some o’ that! Never before have I heard such unbridled energy and celebration in music that hits me where I stand. I’m actually ashamed that this stuff isn’t praise music. I feel it all the way through. Their generous use of the vocoder takes me back to some of Daft Punk’s best stuff (but U.S.E.’s music is, dare I say it, actually better than most anything Daft Punk has ever done). Then on top of that vocoder, you throw in some disco, elements of electronica (of course), some rap, a couple guitars, a couple back-up girls, and an enormous freight-train of dance, and you’re sweating ’till 3am. I’m just amazed. My jaw just dropped open when I heard it. And now I’ve got more love than anyone could ever handle. Here’s something that may shock you: Steph loves them too! She’s usually not into the music I get excited about. Never liked Daft Punk too much with the exception of a couple songs. Wasn’t excited about Chromeo at all. She can’t stand Phish. But in the case of U.S.E. she actually came up to me and, out of context, told me how much she enjoys them. Then she asked me when I would blog about them. That’s very rare.
Oh, and good news! You can hear it right now too! I found a link on their site to Mannheim Worldwide. I don’t know who those guys are, but they’re obviously related to U.S.E. in some way. Perhaps Kruck or someone else can enlighten us as to whatever I’m missing? Is it their record company or something? Anyhow, there’s a page at that site where you can download U.S.E.’s entire album! And it appears to be completely legit! What the heck? It’s even encoded in MP3 at 196 KB/sec, which is pretty high quality. I guess they figure that if you really love their music, you will pull out your wallet with a sense of gratitude instead of obligation. I’m totally OK with that. I’m certainly going to follow through on that transaction.
So go get it (61 MB zip file), feel the happy, and dance around your room. My favorites are… hmm… this is hard. IT IS ON! hooked me originally because of the super-super high energy and the fact that even in the (presumably) non-live recording they’ve added crowd participation sounds. I don’t think I’ve ever heard a group do that in this way. But then Emerald City and Climb the Walls just kept me going. Open Your Eyes is totally great. Night Shift is a really interesting shift in the otherwise all-dance album. Not that it isn’t dance, but they take it down a notch and the drummer raps about how much it sucks to work the night shift. Yeah, he does drums and raps simultaneously in live shows, too. That guy’s got some serious coordination. Anyhow, the only song I really don’t love all that much is Takin’ It All The Way. It’s average for the genre, so it sticks out on the album.