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Home » Albums in Review, Electro Parlour

USS is bringing it back to the “Advanced Basics”

Submitted by on February 9, 2014 – 9:09 pmNo Comment

USSBack with their highly anticipated new album Advanced Basics is Toronto’s Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, better known simply as USS.

Since the 2013 release of preview single “This is the Best” which frequented cyberspace and airwaves at an exponential rate, fans have been eagerly awaiting their fourth studio record coming out Feb. 11.

Incidentally, the dynamic duo of Jason “Human Kebab” Parsons and Ashley Buchholz created an extremely interesting stream of consciousness based concept album, which can be absorbed in a variety of ways.

When asked about the meaning behind the album’s title, and it’s possible relation to their previous musical releases, specifically their first album Welding the C:/, or even their style of music itself, Parsons says it could be either.

“It’s interesting that you just intertwined those two concepts because nobody’s given it that look yet,” responded Parsons. “But in essence, that’s the entire point of it.”

Although the new album only packs a modicum of seven tracks, it plays out like a full LP. Each track is meticulously produced, and the songs flow together back to back to create a visionary’s tale.

“It’s such a relief to finally have this out,” said Parsons. “This is one of the toughest projects we’ve ever been involved in.”

The album was entirely fan-funded, using the Canadian branch of Pledge Music. The band relished the opportunity, as it gave them a unique perspective into the world of their fans. To know how much their audience appreciates their music humbled them, gracious of their willingness and confidence to contribute to the album’s creation beforehand.

Starting out with the lead track “Hydrogenuine,” an energetic track that vividly displays Parsons’ unique ability to blend his electronic vibes with Buchholz’s acoustic chord progressions.

“In our projects, Ash and I kind of go back and forth with sounds and ideas when it comes to electronics, because we’re both fans of it, it’s organic” said Parsons. “This album was a marriage of it all.”

Parsons explained that he’s delved deeper into the abyss of electronic dance music, and Buchholz deeper into his singing/songwriting.

“We’ve seen and experienced so much, and seen much success, so there’s an underlying pressure to be better than your previous efforts. We tried to incorporate our influences from our first records, and tie it all in to make our best work yet.”

The second track is their popular hit single “This is the Best,” the feel-good track about living in the fast lane and getting caught up in the nightlife that Canada’s largest city can leave you lost in.

The next day after a raging party can either leave you with a sense of relief and enlightenment, or leave you with a fleeting sense of despair and pensiveness. This is where “Nepal” comes in.

Basically the track depicts a man with a sense of realization that he could’ve slept through the knocks of opportunity in life throughout the years, feeling “higher than Nepal” in a sense of self-delusion and grandeur.

“Once I started asking certain questions in life, it’s like these doors opened up and layers started peeling off,” said Buchholz. “I would keep arriving at these harbours of tranquility where there’s an epiphany, a realization of a trump card of an understanding of this chaotic world. It’s whatever people have to do to cope with understanding what the fuck this all is.”

After the conscientious roller coaster that the previous three tracks take you on, you’re brought through another journey into our characters’ psyche with two juxtaposing songs titled “Freakquency” and “Shipwreck.” Respectively the two touch on the sense of drive and ambition, and ultimately then the detriment of over, or under ambitiousness.

The second single off the album, and their latest lyric video “Yin Yang” is an upbeat, abstract tune that leaves the listener with more questions than answers this time around. Either way, you’ll nod your head to it as you jam along.

The album closes out with an ominous guitar ballad on “Built to Break.” With cleverly placed ambient synth sounds, it plays out slowly and gives you an impression of the character portrayed throughout the album is finally coming to terms with everything he’s realized and learned.

Story by Devin Size

 

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