"The United States of Entitlement" (MT6; 2006)

Reviewed by Christopher J. Kelter

One of my great memories from the early days of Rough Edge was attempting to figure out the local “metal” scene in Baltimore. Since most of the “metal” in Baltimore wasn’t traditional in the grand sense of the word, it should come as no surprise that it was not an easy task. However, one of the bands I encountered was Compression – and I don’t remember the act of choosing Compression as being particularly deliberate. Regardless, Compression really opened my ears to some of the fringe, noise-oriented, and unique sort of acts that arose from the fertile and creative musical ground that only a city like Baltimore could produce.

Lo these many years I have encountered one of the principals of Compression in a solo, ambient project called U.S.S.A. Pleasuredome. This particular interaction comes in the form of a split-CD along with another Baltimore-area musical project called The Heirs of Rockefeller. 

The U.S.S.A. tracks are like ruminations on a rainy day; these are the sounds of moody headspace discourses. In fact, it often sounds as though the music itself is a bit unsure of where it is going, despite the fact that the U.S.S.A. tracks never seem lost or out of control. Patience and a semblance of an underlying structure are what provide the U.S.S.A. tracks their backbone and impact.

The Heirs of Rockefeller is the more percussion-heavy of the two projects. And by that virtue alone it is the more metal of the two projects, even though aspects of tHoR aren’t really metal, but rather insistent (perhaps even anxious) musical ideas. The tHoR tracks seem to be influenced by the unique DJ-culture in Baltimore which has more to do with sound than the traditional sounds of hip-hop and rap.

The bands trade off tracks (tHoR get the odd-numbered tracks and USSA get the even-numbered tracks) which makes listening to the entire disc engaging at all turns. While not seamless, the alternating of the tracks creates an almost natural transition that seems planned – and maybe it was.

“The United States of Entitlement” was produced by USSA Pleasuredome and The Heirs of Rockefeller. The sound on the disc is sharp for what basically amounts to an independent recording completed on home studio recording equipment.

For more information on USSA Pleasuredome visit http://www.myspace.com/ussapleasuredome

For more information on The Heirs of Rockerfeller visit http://www.myspace.com/theheirsofrockefeller

Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright © 2007 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.
Revised: 04 Sep 2023 15:33:16 -0400.