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The USA (Undying Swan Act) – ‘Damp Squid’ Album Review

The USA (Undying Swan Act) – Damp Squid

The USAThe USA hail from just down the road from punkonline.co.uk HQ – Boston Lincolnshire. They self describe as being fans of the pre-1977 punk movement and they have just released their third album, Damp Squid.

The 11-track album opens with Down, a track that drips with melody and raw garage rock power. Crossing the Jesus & Mary Chain with The Sweet and the New York Dolls, The USA hook you with their hooks – we loved it!

Next up is Witch’s Chair and, as the title suggest, there is a horror punk undercurrent to this one with a prominent bass line and a B-52s approach. In A Media Whirl is a mangled rockabilly effort with a great DIY/raw sound that melds western style guitars with booming bass lines.

With Sale, The USA go full on psychedelic punk with strange vocals laid on top of a serrated and jarring guitars whilst No Vacancies uses a military drum beat to propel the song forward with spoken word vocals mixing with melodic choruses.

The longest song on the album is the accomplished So Glad You’re Dead / Thirst where the melodic vocals dominate a 1960s musical backing. It’s a little disconcerting with harmonica battling with the bass and a hook-laden section. The USA follow up with the shortest song on this album, the 55 seconds of Woodpecker’s Hole where the harmonica is on display again and the vocal channels Nick Cave for a few seconds – strange and fun!

The fuzz bass intro to Scumbag leads to a soaring rocker that stands out as a punk rocker full of melody and power and it is followed by The Mattress with a slow beat and ballad style approach. The penultimate track is the rambunctious, Feeling Inferior where the band do channel the aforementioned MC5 with pop hooks and echo infused vocals all supported by a great bass line and chuncky guitars.

Closing with Saturday TV The USA again allow the bass and vocals to drive the track forward as the drums and guitar play strong supporting roles. It’s refreshing, raw and darn good stuff.

Grab a copy of the free download of Damp Squid by The USA here:  https://the-usa.bandcamp.com/album/damp-squid

 

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