To some, it will be tempting to categorize USSA as a supergroup, since two members of the '90s most respected, original, and influential alt-rock bands, ex-Jesus Lizard guitarist Duane Denison and ex-Ministry bassist Paul Barker are present. But since the two other members of the band are unknown to many -- singer Gary Call and drummer Johnny Rabb -- USSA won't be confused with Blind Faith or Asia anytime soon. On their full-length debut, 2007's The Spoils, the quartet lay down moody melodic rock that contains unmistakable elements of first wave post-punk. That said, the group also has quite a lot in common sonically with Barker's pre-Ministry band, the Blackouts ("Blue Light," "Summer Endless Summer"), as well as Tool (the album opening "Autumn Flowers"), while Call's vocal delivery often shows that he has his Trent Reznor-isms down pat ("Middletown"). Managing to be both arty and exploratory while not coming off like snobs, USSA does not rely solely on the résumés of their two established members to get by -- the group appear to be well on their way to finding their own musical voice, as evidenced throughout The Spoils.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato