The United States of America made one self-titled album and disappeared. Maybe it is better to shine brightly for a minute and fade away knowing you make a mark, but you survived it.
The first song “The American Metaphysical Circus” sounds like a rejected song from The Rocky Horror Picture Show. It definitely needs to be in a film. It reminds me of baroque style songs.
These guys and girl were definitely on the cutting edge of electronic music. They used their imagination to create weird sound effects and vocal effects. There is nothing else like this up to this point in the book 1001 Albums… It is oddly bizarre and yet calming at times.
The album veers off with “The Garden of Earthly Delights“. It sounds like a sci-fi video game in the 80s arcades. The background music sounds like a beach song with the rolling drums.
It does not completely get back on track until side two, especially with the song “Love Song for the Dead Ché“. It is a sweet song about remembering a past lover. Or is it? Joseph Byrd the songwriter said, “the one group that had discipline, an agenda, and was willing to work within the existing institutions to educate and radicalize American society” is the leftist Communist Party. That is the great thing about a song like this one. It can mean whatever you want it to mean if you ignore the title.
The last song “The American Way of Love” is a suite or something. It contains three strange songs. Part of it reminded me of The Tubes when they did a song with Olivia Newton-John in the film Xanadu. It was two opposite sounds meshed together.
I think this is an interesting album. It has a lot of weirdness to it. I wish they had had more time to work out their sound. Unfortunately, that was the reason for the split. Imagine how difficult a marriage is with two people trying to agree on one thing and now add more people into the mix. Most bands do not stand a chance on staying together. Check it out on Spotify and enjoy the extra songs that did not appear in the original album. 8/10.