United States - Divorce Songs (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

United States

Divorce Songs (2006)

Iron Pier

I would need a crate of appendages and a team of well-skilled surgeons in order to count on fingers and toes the number of post-Fugazi releases I've gotten in the mail this year. While none of them are particularly bad, there's a few standing up and poking their nose out of the rest of the crowd. One of those is United States, whose 8-song debut full-length is also the most authentic-sounding; you'd swear this came straight from the Dischord catalog circa early `90s. While some might take that and read it as accusations of a dated sound being produced by US, it's actually a pretty cool trait.

Again, yes, there are a mere 8 songs here, but they total out at just under 33 minutes, which means United States provide very little filler and instead a tight, small collection of jagged, rough and tumble post-hardcore tunes. One of the especially notable moments would be towards the end of the opener and title track, a raucous and repeititve but surly chant of "there's a reason / why I'm tense!." It's moments like these that really propel the disc, even though their quieter, more sedated offerings provide the necessary counterpoint ("Grand Stand").

Thing is, even with how time-specific Divorce Songs seems to be, United States definitely bring out their Cursive influences at points. "Thanks for Nothing" surely seems like that band's early-to-middle era, coughing up bags of gravel with every yell and guitar squalls at every corner.

We talk about bands being influenced by other bands, but record labels are definitely influenced by other labels, and if Iron Pier continues a developing nod towards Dischord as it marches on, punk/hardcore fans will be all the more grateful.

West River

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