Tender Places Come from Nothing

U.S. Saucer

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Tender Places Come from Nothing Review

by Greg Prato

Sparse rock that sounds like it will doze off at any moment; welcome to the musical world of U.S. Saucer. The sophomore effort from this San Francisco band is similar to its predecessor (1992's Company Is My Misery), since drums are not present. Because of this, the songs are left with plenty of open space, with room for the group to indulge in flowing basslines, country-influenced vocals, and clean guitar lines similar to the Velvet Underground. The opening "Cowboy Song" (no relation to Thin Lizzy's same-titled song) contains vocal line trade-offs from guitarist Margaret Murray and bassist David Tholfsen. Murray's vocal style is similar at times to Margo Timmins of the Cowboy Junkies, while Tholfsen sports a commanding country voice in a deep register. The music to "Hold On Dear Brother" sounds like the classic country-tinged rock of yesterday (Crazy Horse, etc.), while the group add their unique touch to the Christmas standard "Silent Night." If the extreme country-punk sounds of the early Meat Puppets are a tad too visceral for your tastes, U.S. Saucer's Tender Places Come from Nothing is the album for you. [Note: the CD contains three extra tracks -- "I Love?," "Hell Rules," and "Today I Started Loving Her Again."]

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