These United States – These United States

January 01, 1970

(United Interests)


Equally adept as
rowdy, agitated upstarts and earnest, anthemic rockers, These United States begs to be taken
seriously on this, their eponymous fifth album. With an impressive list of
collaborators helping shore up their credence – among them, Ben Sollee, John McCauley (Deer
Tick), Matthew Houck (Phosphorescent), Laura Burhenn (The
Mynabirds), David Moore (Langhorne Slim), and the band Ruckus –
they transcend the divide between swagger and cerebral, and do so with nary a
blip in-between.


More Kooks than Kinks, euphoric
gems like “Dead & Gone,” “Born Young,” “Maps” and “So Sweet To Be Back” take
an over-the-top approach that directly reflects the band’s cockiness and spunk.
Happily for listeners however, These United States also know when to chill, and
as a result, certain songs – “The Park,” The Angel’s Share” and “Vince” in
particular – opt for a more
emotional connection and an earnest resolve that allows them a more
squinty-eyed perspective. Another solid step in their ongoing evolution, These United States constitutes a
genuine declaration of independence.


“The Angel’s Share,” “The Park” LEE ZIMMERMAN

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