US - A sorrow in our hearts - 2002


If we want to know the roots of this Dutch band we have to go back in time. In 1975 Jos Wernars (bass, guitars and vocals), Paul Van Velzen (drums and vocals), and Ernest Wernars (keyboards and vocals) founded a band called Saga. Under that name they released in 1979 their only work named "To whom it concerns". Twenty years after, the trio comes back changing the name to US and with the collaboration of Peter de Frankrijker as lead guitarist.


After having listened three or four times this CD I think I am who has a sorrow in the heart. I´ve never listened to so many good ideas in a CD, but in the same way I´ve never listened a poorly recorded CD as this. "Rollercoaster" (9:05) begins and I´m surprised by the high tempo and the great skill of the musicians, but unfortunately the bass track sounds too high and caps the vocals, vocals that reminds me to John Waits (Fischer Z). Anyway the song is amazing and, after two or three listenings, the ideas win the sound. The instrumental passages and the acoustic guitar interlude are really delicious. "The acid dream" (11:58) shows how the band is able to develop a long and really progressive song, astonishing us with long keyboards and guitar solos. Again the sound of the bass is really great but I miss better vocals. "Dog" (10:22) has a sad air and begins with a beautiful acoustic guitar wrapped by synths. This song is about cruelty with animals. I must congratulate US because this is an unusual subject in music but, unfortunately, it is an usual subject in our society. And I love animals. In the middle, the song becomes up-tempo with nice keys and guitar solos. In the end returns acoustic guitar sad sounds. A beautiful song. "Forever yours" (5:56) is a suggestive love song followed by "A sorrow in our hearts" (9:41), a song dedicated to Indians who fought against white man in North America. This song has amazing instrumental moments. The best track, with "Rollercoaster", is the long "Passport to Magonia" (12:38) a song that contains a nervous bass a la Squire and reminds me to early Yes. Here the changes of rhythm are very original and there is a great work by drums and acoustic guitar. The song doesn´t have any boring moment.


I´m happy to say that US is a band that don´t remains me to anybody else -perhaps, in some moments to Genesis ("Foxtrot" stage) or Yes- but the only negative point I´ve found is the poorly recorded vocals. Anyway I think ideas are more important than sound and the CD can be easily assimilated after two listenings. It´s a pity how the lack of money can reduce the quality of a CD Now US are looking for a label and I think it´s worthwhile betting on this band. With better facilities they will be successful in the future.

author - date - rating - label

Alfonso Algora - May 2002 -   - Independent Release