MENU
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography
Progarchives, the progressive rock ultimate discography

US

Neo-Prog • Netherlands


From Progarchives.com, the ultimate progressive rock music website

US picture
US biography
Dutch outfit US was founded in 1998. However, their history goes back to 1975. At that point in time Jos Wernars (guitars), Paul van Velzen (drums) and Ernest Wernars (bass) started playing in a cover band together. In time they felt like writing their own material too, and with symphonic rock as the chosen musical territory Dutch outfit Saga was formed, and kept it going until 1983.

Then in 1998 Ernest got a creative tingle while listening to a Genesis record, and when he got in touch with Paul later that year and heard that he still enjoyed playing the desire to create and play music again awakened in full. Jos wasn't that keen on taking up music again initially, but one day in 1999 he showed up at one of Ernest and Paul's music sessions, bringing with him a bass and a 12-string guitar. From that point onwards, every Friday evening was scheduled for music - playing, composing and recording. A demo, named The Wizzard of Us, was recorded on a pretty basic digital 8-track system. When the band also started visiting a more proper recording studio from time to time, it didn't take long for the trio to have a desire to record their own material in a more professional manner.

Joined by Peter de Frankrijker (guitars) this lead to the recording and release of US debut album A Sorrow In Our Hearts in 2002.

Next up was to create a recording studio of their own; and with some time, sweat and lots of effort Paul's garage was turned into a studio, with a 24 track harddisk recorders and accompanying bells, whistles and a few gizmos too.

With a new member in place as well, Stephan Christiaans (vocals), everything was set for the creation of US sophomore effort, issued in 2003 as Eamon's Day. The CD was well received, and sold a pleasant amount of copies too. Towards the tail end of the year US were invited to be the opening act of Dutch symphonic rock festival Progfarm, and although a rewarding experience it was decided that the band would have their main focus on recording rather than touring.

In February 2004 new recording sessions started, and the bands third effort The Ghost Of Human Kindness was the result, released later the same year. On this album their sound was markedly heavier in expression than previously; and to this day this is the heaviest sounding effort by the band.

But just after this US split up. Paul moved, Peter took up studying and Stephan became to immersed in running his shop, leaving just Jos and Ernest...
read more

US official website

US MP3, Free Download (music stream)


Open extended player in a new pop-up window | Random Playlist (50) | How to submit new MP3s
No MP3/Stream available for this artist.
Collaborate with Progarchives.com, learn how to submit new MP3s.

US Videos (YouTube and more)


Showing only random 3 | Search and add more videos to US

Buy US Music


Right Now on Ebay (logo)
Songs The Belt Taught Us by The Unsatisfied USD $6.19 Buy It Now
The Jacksons - Show You The Way To Go/Enjoy Yourself (7") j/box US issue 15-2354 USD $3.06 Buy It Now
Engelbert Humperdinck - My Marie (7" single) juke box US issue 45-40049 USD $3.42 Buy It Now
The Temptations The Jones US 1991 12" Motown Recs USD $6.97 Buy It Now
Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison - SEALED 1968 US 1st Press LP Record CS 9639 USD $134.99 Buy It Now
NEIL SEDAKA - SEDAKA'S BACK (LAUGHTER IN THE RAIN,LOVE WILL KEEP US TOGETHER) USD $2.99 [0 bids]
USD $10.00 Buy It Now
Red River - Knife In The Water CD on Overcoat Records oc05cd - US Import USD $4.54 Buy It Now
3 DOORS DOWN CD - US AND THE NIGHT (2016) - NEW UNOPENED - ROCK - REPUBLIC USD $14.99 Buy It Now
Over the Border : Elke Baker (1996, CD) US National Scottish Fiddle Champion! USD $8.95 Buy It Now
Syd Straw - Surprise CD on Virgin Records America - US Import - Michael Stipe USD $3.14 Buy It Now
Five-Eight - Weirdo CD 1994 on Sky Records - US Import USD $2.79 Buy It Now
WHAM! Vinyl 45 WHAM RAP (Special US Remix) cw Wham Rap (Special Club Remix) USD $1.40 [0 bids]
SAMMY HAGAR NINE ON A TEN SCALE LP.US PRESS.EX COND.GREAT AUDIO. USD $4.18 [0 bids]
Barbara Manning - Lately I Keep Scissors - 1989 LP on Heyday Records US Import USD $18.86 Buy It Now
Jesse Johnson Shockadelica 1986 US Cassette Crazay - Sly Stone,The Time, Prince USD $4.50 Buy It Now
Broke, Not Broken [us Import] CD (2007) USD $5.99 Buy It Now
JOE JACKSON Night & Day 1989 CD Steppin Out-Breaking Us in Two-Real Men 80s Rock USD $13.47 Buy It Now
FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD Relax 7" US promo includes 3:56 Vocal version PR600 USD $13.96 Buy It Now
BOY GEORGE You Found Another Guy 12" US promo includes 12" Mix, 7" Edit USD $16.75 Buy It Now
DREAM ACADEMY This World 12" US promo includes 5:05 Version in title sleeve USD $13.96 Buy It Now
NATURAL SCIENTIST Anaesthetic Of Love US 5-track Mini LP DREP3184 SYNTH POP USD $11.16 Buy It Now
TEARS FOR FEARS Mothers Talk 12" US Promo includes Beat Of The Drum Mix, USD $12.56 Buy It Now
HUMAN LEAGUE Heart Like A Wheel 12" US includes Ext. Mix, Album Version USD $13.96 Buy It Now
ALPHAVILLE The Jet Set 12" US promo incl Vocal / Jellybean Mix 6:28 USD $13.96 Buy It Now
HUMAN LEAGUE Love Is All That Matters 12" US promo includes Extended Version, USD $13.96 Buy It Now
BOY GEORGE Live My Life 12" US includes 12" Soul Remix, The Quake Dub SEALED USD $13.96 Buy It Now
SCRITTI POLITTI Another Sound Mission (Mystic Handyman Pt2) 12" US promo USD $12.56 Buy It Now
EURYTHMICS In The Garden US 2005 15-track CD in digipack - New & Sealed USD $18.15 Buy It Now
TALK TALK Talk Talk 7" US promo includes 3:19 Version on both sides USD $12.56 Buy It Now
HUMAN LEAGUE Are You Ever Coming Back 7" US promo includes 4:18 Version on both USD $13.96 Buy It Now
EURYTHMICS Thorn In My Side 12" US promo includes 4:45 Version in title sticker USD $13.96 Buy It Now
Within Temptation - Let Us Burn (Elements & Hydra Live in Concert) [New CD] Holl USD $35.62 Buy It Now
EURYTHMICS Would I Lie To You 12" US promo includes 4:52 Version, Extended Mix USD $12.56 Buy It Now
YELLO Call It Love 12" US promo includes Remix, Dub, Extended Version, Instr. USD $16.75 Buy It Now
HUMAN LEAGUE Fascination 7" US promo includes 3:43 Edited Version on both sides USD $12.56 Buy It Now
PET SHOP BOYS Opportunities 7" US promo in orig EMI America company sleeve USD $15.36 Buy It Now
Willie Nelson ?- Without A Song ORIG. US LP USD $1.06 Buy It Now
Jesse Johnson Shockadelica 1986 US Cassette BRAND NEW Sly Stone,The Time, Prince USD $11.25 Buy It Now
Smokey Robinson I've Made Love To You A Thousand Times US 7" Demo Tamla Recs USD $6.97 Buy It Now
DEPECHE MODE Behind The Wheel 7" US "Back To Back Hits" includes Strangelove USD $20.94 Buy It Now
GARY NUMAN/ TUBEWAY ARMY First Album US LP with inner sleeve USD $23.74 Buy It Now
THOMAS DOLBY Music From The Film Gothic US LP - AUTOGRAPHED on the front cover USD $39.11 Buy It Now
MARC ALMOND/ SOFT CELL What 12" US promo includes Insecure...Me? In promo slv USD $23.74 Buy It Now
DURAN DURAN White Lines 12" US promo doublepack includes Junior's House Mix USD $22.34 Buy It Now
SEALED 1977 STEVE WINWOOD S/T US LP Island ILPS 9494 Traffic Spencer Davis Group USD $15.99 Buy It Now
Epitaph by Necrophagist (Orange Vinyl, 2017, Relapse Records (US), Lmtd to 200 USD $20.00 [0 bids]
USD $30.00 Buy It Now
Chicago - Feelin' Stronger Every Day 7" - US pressing 4-45880 - VG USD $6.27 Buy It Now
JAD FAIR <> Everyone Knew...But Me <> ORIGINAL 1984 US LP <> SEALED Signed! USD $39.99 Buy It Now
The Willing - Right Direction - great US acoustic contemporary rock (The Boyzz) USD $9.77 Buy It Now
Us - Peter Gabriel Compact Disc USD $15.87 Buy It Now
The Temptations More On The Inside US 1982 7" Demo Gordy Recs USD $6.97 Buy It Now
NATURAL SELECTION - Do Anything - 1991 US 12" Vinyl 5 mixes - NMINT USD $9.31 Buy It Now
Just the Three of Us USD $7.04 Buy It Now
FREE US SHIP. on ANY 2 CDs! NEW CD Modern Jazz Quartet: Artistry of Modern Jazz USD $25.00 Buy It Now
The Baker Gurvitz Army 12" Vinyl US LP Janus Records JXS 7015 VG/EX USD $11.16 [0 bids]
American Top 10 US Hits 4 CD 1950s 1960s Music Songs USD $12.14 Buy It Now
Cher - I'd Rather Believe In You US LP 1976 /4* USD $29.99 Buy It Now
NEW~Diggin' Texas Swing by Various Artists (CD, 1998-UK) SEALED~Free ship US! USD $29.50 Buy It Now
BOOTSY - 'ULTRA WAVE' LP - US IMPORT Warner Bros BSK 3433 USD $5.57 [0 bids]
BONNIE RAITT-SWEET FORGIVENESS-US ISSUE LP ON WARNER BROTHERS RECORDS-1977-VGC USD $9.78 Buy It Now
Champaign - How 'Bout Us - Spinnin' - Vinyl Record 7" Single - OG 9559 - 1985 USD $5.57 Buy It Now
SLADE - TILL DEAF DO US PART LP USD $27.93 Buy It Now
Ambergris Paramount 5014 ORIGINAL US PRESSING USD $12.00 Buy It Now
NOBODY WANTS US Vol 1 - FINLAND 1979-1983 kbd punk rarities ..neuroosi nauta sos USD $9.99 [1 bids]
Talking Heads: 77 LP Near Mint In Shrink Sire 1st US Press 1977 Vinyl Record LP USD $59.99 Buy It Now
Grateful Dead Wake Of The Flood 1st Pres US 1973 NM/EX Vinyl Record LP Garcia USD $44.95 Buy It Now
Los Bravos Bring A Little Lovin' Original US 1968 1st Pressing NM Near Mint RARE USD $34.99 Buy It Now
NOBODY WANTS US Vol 2 - FINLAND 1979-1980 kbd punk rarities stalin mopot etc USD $9.99 [1 bids]
FREE US SHIP. on ANY 2+ CDs! NEW CD Ivan Parker: Just Imagine USD $19.00 Buy It Now
VARIOUS The Fabulous Bubblegum Years US LP 1978 ex+/vg+ USD $9.77 Buy It Now
NOBODY WANTS US Vol 3 - SWEDEN 1979-1980 kbd punk rarities bugs ksmb pain usch.. USD $9.99 [1 bids]
JAMES BROWN The original disco man Polydor (US) Demo USD $26.55 Buy It Now
NOBODY WANTS US Vol 4 - SWEDEN 1978-1980 kbd punk rarities attentat razzia noise USD $9.99 [1 bids]
NOBODY WANTS US Vol 5 - U.K. 1977 kbd punk rarities maniacs rings exile killjoys USD $9.99 [0 bids]
VINYL 7" SINGLE - OLLIE & JERRY - BREAKIN'... THERE'S NO STOPPING US - POSP 690 USD $9.77 Buy It Now
NOBODY WANTS US Vol 6 - U.K. 1978 kbd punk rarities predator raped dyaks front.. USD $9.99 [1 bids]
NOBODY WANTS US Vol 7 -U.K. 1979 kbd punk rarities sods blanks pack squad proles USD $9.99 [1 bids]
NOBODY WANTS US Vol 8 - U.S.A. 1977 kbd punk rarities germs crime weirdos strand USD $9.99 [0 bids]
FREE US SHIP. on ANY 2+ CDs! NEW CD Platinum Blonde: Collections Import USD $49.00 Buy It Now
NOBODY WANTS US Vol 9 - U.S.A. 1978 kbd punk rarities shock nails bags lewd etc USD $10.50 [3 bids]
George Shearing Quintet,Cap.T1416,"On The Sunny Side Of The Strip",US,LP,mono,M- USD $11.99 Buy It Now
NOBODY WANTS US Vol 10 - U.S.A. 1979 kbd punk rarities insults skunks nuns etc USD $9.99 [1 bids]
Various Rock n Roll(2x12" Vinyl LP Gatefold)1957-Timelife-RRR E09-US-19-Ex/M USD $18.85 Buy It Now
Tommy Allsop(2x12" Vinyl LP Gatefold)Buddy Holly-Timelife-RRR E15-US-19-Ex/M USD $18.85 Buy It Now
NOBODY WANTS US Vol 11 - CANADA 1977-82 kbd punk rarities curse ugly mods poles USD $9.99 [0 bids]
Original 2001 US CD Single THE CHEMICAL BROTHERS It Began In Africa MINT USD $5.57 [0 bids]
FREE US SHIP. on ANY 2+ CDs! USED,MINT CD Power Music: Biggest Loser: Last Chanc USD $7.98 Buy It Now
RCA LSC 2809 - LEINSDORF - BRAHMS symphony no.2 - US stereo LP USD $2.75 Buy It Now
LSC 2221 CHARLES MUNCH - MENDELSSOHN symphonies nos.4 & 5 RCA US LP stereo USD $8.50 Buy It Now
NOBODY WANTS US Vol 12 - SWITZERLAND 1977-1982 kbd punk rarities sozz sperma tnt USD $9.99 [1 bids]
NORTHERN SOUL 7" 45 = MARVIN SMITH = HAVE MORE TIME = US ORIGINAL VG+ USD $71.26 [7 bids]
NOBODY WANTS US Vol 13 - GERMANY 1979-82 kbd punk rarities slime ohl bgs razors USD $9.99 [1 bids]
Eddie Harris Les McCann m- 7 Set Us Free / Universal Prisoner USD $4.49 Buy It Now
Heaven Help Us All: Stevie Wonder 7" Single USD $1.37 [0 bids]
Gary US Bonds Best Of LP MCA Records 905 Mint USD $5.00 [0 bids]
"Big Band Jazz From the Beginnings To The Fifties"RCA,US,Box set,mono,booklet,M- USD $7.99 Buy It Now
Hot Chip - Made in the Dark - 2008 US Deluxe Edition + Live DVD - New USD $4.18 [0 bids]
ULTRA RARE ORG US JAZZ MONO LP DUKE PEARSON PROFILE BLUE NOTE BLP 4022 47 W DG USD $399.99 [0 bids]
TRIBULANCE TRIALS... S/T MEGA RARE US POWER PROG METAL INDIE DEMO TAPE 1994! USD $24.99 [0 bids]
THE SANTANA TRIO PROMO PROMOTIONAL WHITE LABEL US titanic 5013 single SP USD $15.20 Buy It Now

More places to buy US music online Buy US & Prog Rock Digital Music online:
US has no upcoming shows, according to LAST.FM syndicated events and shows feed

US discography


Ordered by release date | Showing ratings (top albums) | Help Progarchives.com to complete the discography and add albums

US top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

3.83 | 22 ratings
A Sorrow In Our Hearts
2002
4.09 | 19 ratings
Eamon's Day
2003
3.29 | 13 ratings
The Ghost Of Human Kindness
2004
3.48 | 17 ratings
The Young And Restless
2006
2.97 | 10 ratings
Reflections
2007
2.53 | 13 ratings
Climbing Mount Improbable
2008
2.91 | 13 ratings
Everything Changes
2009
2.13 | 16 ratings
Feeding The Crocodile
2010
2.83 | 14 ratings
The Road Less Travelled
2011
2.89 | 9 ratings
Lindisfarne
2017

US Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

US Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

US Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

US Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

US Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 Climbing Mount Improbable by US album cover Studio Album, 2008
2.53 | 13 ratings

BUY
Climbing Mount Improbable
US Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

2 stars When ''Reflections'' was released the Wernars brothers had already started working on their sixth album, which would be named ''Climbing mount improbable'', the work which meant to be the last featuring Ernest Wernars in the line-up.Marijke Wernars helps out on vocals for yet another Us release and the band kept using the Joris ten Eussens name for the drumming duties, although they still had to program the drums themselves.The album came out in April 2008 as a private production.

In the fullness of time the Dutch duo reached its bottom with this effort, from which the beautiful front cover and the ability of the composer Jon Wernars to produce decent, progressive suites are to be kept.Five compositions for a full hour of music, containing three tracks over 10 minutes long, still revisiting the classic GENESIS, YES and maybe early KING CRIMSON sound, but the recording quality problems start to bury the ideas of Us, which still remained interesting and intricate.The bad sound of drums, the fake sounds of the Mellotron and even some questionable bass lines start to become trully disturbing.Moreover throughout this labyrinth of thin sounds the lead vocals come as a hitting stone.Some albums need to be played by a normal group to sound good and ''Climbing mount improbable'' is one of these cases.Too bad, because noone can deny that there is some serious talent in here, the tracks are long, elaborate and pretty symphonic with changing moods and a wide instrumental variety, keeping the ongoing Dutch Prog scene alive and well.The best parts appear to be some great, GENESIS-styled electric melodies and solos, while the organ and synthesizer moves do sound more natural, despite some neurotic themes and solos.Structurally the pieces are still at a good level with multiple variations and a vast palette of symphonic and Neo Prog colors.But the synthetic and eventually weak instrumental selection has hurt the overall result next to a very false voice.

I would prefer this album to have come out in an instrumental version, while the instrumental armour should have been kept to reduced and more natural pieces.Neo/Symphonic Prog fans should still find something to like in here despite the obvious flaws, but overall this work seems like a black hole in the band's strong backcatalogue.

 Reflections by US album cover Studio Album, 2007
2.97 | 10 ratings

BUY
Reflections
US Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars Heading towards the fifth studio album, Us' core started to become instable.Ernest Wernars started having doubts about the project's viablility due to lack of money and the mixed reviews the band was receiving.Even this way Us managed to finish the album ''Reflections'', another family affair of Jos and Ernest Wernars (again with Marijke Wernars in some vocal parts), released in 2007.

The bad vibrations around the project's future seem to have had an impact in the inspirational section, as ''Reflections'' is definitely the weakest album of Us so far, still not weak enough not to qualify as a good album.Split in three mid-length compositions and three long epics, the Dutch duo offers again elaborate, lush arrangements with definite GENESIS leanings, however the sound of the programmed drums starts really to become annoying.Combined with the vocals, which were never Us' strong point, these make up the most negative factors of ''Reflections'', possibly along with the lack of some trully striking melodies.On the other hand the experience of Wernars' brothers led them to compose well-crafted and interesting pieces with a balanced sound and some really captivating themes.The new album follows the same receipt the group proposed over the years, muddy and old-fashioned Neo/Symphonic Progressive Rock, full of organ , Mellotron and synth runs and some lovely HACKETT-ish guitar lines.While the atmosphere follows mainly a mellow path, there are also plenty of bombastic explosions with a grandiose instrumental delivery to keep the listener's attention.Changing climates and sudden breaks are always in the menu, leading from intense and rich textures to more vocal-based and lyrical passages.

Us seem to pass over a dangerous crossroad at this point.Their work remains qualitive and interesting, but some of the magic is lost somewhere during the process.Anyway, this is not their strongest effort, but it has major possibilities to satisfy any fan of Classic-styled Progressive Rock.

 Feeding The Crocodile by US album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.13 | 16 ratings

BUY
Feeding The Crocodile
US Neo-Prog

Review by b_olariu
Prog Reviewer

2 stars actually 2.5

US is a dutch prog rock band with quite a prolific career in terms of releasing albums, since 2002 when first album appear they release each year an album. In 2010 comes feeding the crocodile. Well, I had hard times listning to this album, not because is overall really bad, but lacks big time in captivating moments and inventive passagaes. If Eamon's day or Young and restless was very fine albums who I've rated 4 stars, this one is a let down in any aspect. Only 3 pieces, the title track had nearly 45 min in lengh and is almost a total waste. Only two musicians here remains from the previous albums, Jos Wernars responsable for all instrumetal arrangements here and Marijke on voice. Some good moments can be found aswell on title track, specialy on instrumental parts, some symphonic prog with neo touches but quite far from the great albums bands release prior to this one. This type of prog can be listned in the back ground, few minor highlights as I said in instrumental passages but overall is terrible to digest and even boring and chaotic, The Greatest Show On Earth is boring like hell. 2-2.5 stars. I like this band, so if you want tot discove their highlights try Eamon's day or Young and restless, to me their best albums for sure.

 The Young And Restless by US album cover Studio Album, 2006
3.48 | 17 ratings

BUY
The Young And Restless
US Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars In 2005 Us had to face some major problems.Singer Stephan Cristiaans and guitarist Peter de Frankrijker decided to leave the band, while drummer Paul van Velzen started to lose interest in the project during the recording process of the upcoming fourth album.However Jos and Ernest Wernars decided to finish the album on their own forces (with the help of Marijke Wernars in some vocal parts).They even evented fantasy drummer Joris ten Eussens, so Us would seem as a normal band to the public, but actually the duo recorded the drum parts all by themselves.The fourth title of their catalogue was the 2006 self-produced CD ''The Young And Restless''.

And the truth is the Wernars duo did it pretty well.''The Young And Restless'' is definitely their darkest-sounding effort so far, a 56-min. tight long suite divided in 14 short parts with only a few interruptions between the tracks.Additionally it is also their most retro- and symphonic-inclined release with the Neo Prog influence a bit limited compared to the previous albums.To the music, ''The young and the restless'' holds a perfect balance between instrumental passages and vocal parts.It is a very well-structured and executed composition with epic keyboard deliveries and strong HACKETT-like guitar chops along with the always deep bass sound of Jos Wernars.Synthesizers, organ and mellotron parts dominate the album in series of atmospheric and powerful arrangements with a fair dose of changing climates and Jos' guitar lines range from the smooth GENESIS' performance to some huge electric explosions in the vein of IQ or COLLAGE.Especially the later guitar parts supported by the massive keyboard attacks are what make the album really dark regarding its atmosphere.On the other hand the male vocals are mediocre, sometimes sounding out of tune and without some needed color delivered by an experienced singer, while the drums sound a bit mechanical at moments, though the Wernars' did a pretty good work on this section.The soft acoustic textures remain a strong element of Us music and add the appropriate breath among the symphonic arrangements.

All in all this is another very good Us production.If these majestic instrumental passages were next to a better voice we would talk about a trully excellent work.But even this way the album deserves a relatively high rating and a strong recommendation...3.5 stars.

 The Ghost Of Human Kindness by US album cover Studio Album, 2004
3.29 | 13 ratings

BUY
The Ghost Of Human Kindness
US Neo-Prog

Review by apps79
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars With ''Eamon's day'' US finally seem to draw some attention.The album sold well and the they even performed live for just the second time on the Dutch festival Progfarm in 2003.However the band prefered to enter again their own ''B'SUS'' studios in February 2004 than tour on road, recording the material Jos Wernars wrote for an upcoming third release.The new album ''The Ghost of Human Kindness'' was privately presses the same year.

Here US follow the same receipt with ''Eamon's day'': Three long epics ranging from 14 to 20 minutes and two a bit shorter cuts at around 8 minutes, definitely enough time to fully develop your ideas.Apart from the album's structure, the sound has not changed dramatically either.The compositions follow their familiar Neo/Symphonic Rock matrix with some strong GENESIS and YES influences throughout, where more complex and grandiose electric parts meet often with soft acoustic passages along with Stephan Cristiaans' warm voice.The Wernars' duo-combination on keyboards and guitars remains the highly driving force of the quintet.The long HACKETT-ish impressive soloing along with the symphonic grandieur through Ernest's flashy keyboards and pianos are US' trademarks and please add the great and dynamic bass work of Jos in the vein of YES' CHRIS SQUIRE.The arrangements are very tight and well-crafted with a good alternation between softness, melody and a fair amount of complexity.The final eponymous track is propably the stand out piece of the album with some majestic melodies to be heard.

Another strong release by US, far from trully original as always, but close to the preferences of any devoted Symphonic Rock fan.Strongly recommended with a special appeal to fans of GENESIS, YES or even IQ...3.5 stars.

 The Road Less Travelled by US album cover Studio Album, 2011
2.83 | 14 ratings

BUY
The Road Less Travelled
US Neo-Prog

Review by maryes

3 stars 3,5 stars really. I confess , when I heard for the first time this release, I was a litle awesome and trying to forget the previous albun from US "Feeding the Crocodile" which I consider a very displeasing work. and I become posetively surprise whith this "The Road Less Travelled" whereas if the band not reach the same level than "A Sorrow in our Hearts", "The Ghost of the Human Kindness" & "The Youing and The Restless" at least seems to recover part of their "magic". The albun in itself is full of beautiful moments like the bass guitar arrangements in the Track 1 "The Road Less Travelled", the acoustic guitar introduction in the track 2 "The Sign Of Our Times " with a certain Arabic "fragance", the keyboards work in the Track 3 "Days Of Wonder" and the very well balanced use of all instruments in track 4 "Shadowland" a symphonic prog in Genesis and Yes "vein". My rate is 3 stars !!!
 The Road Less Travelled by US album cover Studio Album, 2011
2.83 | 14 ratings

BUY
The Road Less Travelled
US Neo-Prog

Review by Finnforest
Special Collaborator Honorary Collaborator

3 stars A labor of love

Jos Wernars has been creating music alone and with others since the 1970s, and "The Road Less Traveled" is his most recent under the project named US. This album is a one-man project, the only assistance coming in the form of harmony vocals from his wife Marijke Wernars. He had been working with his brother Ernest who had to stop around 2008 after some health issues. Rather than quit Wernars decided to soldier on alone in pursuit of his musical passion. To me US sounds somewhere between neo-prog and classic 70s symphonic on the "sweeter" side, ala bands like Surprise, Rousseau, and Druid. There is also an undeniable Genesis influence here, Banks and Hackett mostly. A modern reference would be the neo-prog band Yleclipse. Let me get my criticism out of the way first. This is a release with a less than first tier production. It has the sound of a hobbyist musician recording in his home studio, with a drum machine, and occasionally some thin-sounding parts. It does not sound like your next Porcupine Tree or Opeth album in terms of fullness and fidelity. If those kinds of recordings bother you then approach with some caution. It really doesn't bother me, I can enjoy an album with less-than-perfect production if I like the music. In fact there are times when such productions are refreshing as you can enjoy the music without the overwhelming volume/density of some recordings. I see both sides on that one.

With that out of the way on to the important part...the music! The album's 57 minutes span across only four songs, the twenty minute title track and three others in the twelve minute range, so each piece has that prog-epic feel. Wernars is a talented man despite being short changed in personnel and perhaps equipment. The songs are wonderfully rich (if a bit sweet) and each with many different moods and mystical feeling passages. Melodic keyboard work is everywhere with solid Howe/Hackett inspired (I would guess) lead guitar frequently soaring over the hills. The bass playing reminded me of Squire sometimes the way he was drubbing it in an often forceful, jubilant manner. Acoustic guitars also play a large role in setting up some songs and creating some nice strummed sections with the harmony vocals over them. The beginning of "The Sign of our Times" is very impressive with a monster acoustic solo backed by gorgeous synth play, soon followed by some aggressive lead guitar lines and uplifting vocals-my favorite track. Neither Jos or Marijke are hugely exceptional vocalists but they work very well together and their harmonies were nice. It is the lack of solid drummer on real drums that holds the project back unfortunately, I can tolerate the production fine, but the drum machine hampers my enjoyment. Still, despite the problems with the sound/drum machine here I enjoy this very personal "labor of love" as Wernars describes it. It's an intimate recording with some very lovely and majestic moments.

 Eamon's Day by US album cover Studio Album, 2003
4.09 | 19 ratings

BUY
Eamon's Day
US Neo-Prog

Review by Monte

5 stars This is an excellent album. This was the first US CD I obtained and I was very impressed with Sea Song (the best), Eamon's Day and also Life in Progress. The singer was a bit different as far as the sound of his voice but after awhile you get used to it and actually like the way he sounds.

In any case, this is a very strong album. It was strong enough to get me to order right away 5 of their other CDs. Unfortunately all of the rest were mediocre and a bit boring. These were: A Sorrow in Our Hearts, The Ghost of Human Kindness (although there is one good song on this CD - "Full Circle"), The Young and the Restless, Reflections and Climbing Mount Improbable.

My recommendation, for what it is worth, is listen to Eamon's Day and buy it - very good progressive rock and very unique. Skip all the rest.

 Feeding The Crocodile by US album cover Studio Album, 2010
2.13 | 16 ratings

BUY
Feeding The Crocodile
US Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The so far final album from this pretty odd Dutch neo-prog band.

I have got all their albums and I have reviewed them all. It is fair to say that Us is one of a kind band. A duo, no less. Some of their albums is great. Other albums are merely decent. Listening to them all is like a visit to the local tivoli.

This time, Us has also got a new vocalist. A female vocalist with the name Marijke. She is related to the main vocalist, btw. She and Jos is the only musicians listed here. See my interview for more details. Her vocals gives the band something extra, but her vocals is not very impressive. She is not Kate Bush, to put it in nice words.

Feeding The Crocodile is their most ambitious album so far with the forty-three minutes long title track and a couple of minor tracks to back up the title track. I get the feeling that the band has put everything they got onto this album. This is their 2112.

You really have to have something special if you makes a forty minutes plus track. Us has some good ideas and they almost pulls it off. But not quite. I am not sure if they are fools or brave to even attempt a forty minutes long neo-prog track with one man playing all the instruments. It is like going to the moon, naked. The instrumentation leaves a lot to be desired. But there are still some good ideas here so I am not going to cold shoulder this track.

The other two tracks has some good ideas too and is pretty good. There is no denying that their sound is an aquired taste and my final verdict probably reflects that I have gotten used to it and that I find some pleasures in their music. So too in this album. Their lyrics is pretty cringe worthy at times and the vocals is their achilles heel. But this is a good album and that is all I can say. I hope this band will return again for their 9th album. Preferable with a full band.

3 stars

 Everything Changes by US album cover Studio Album, 2009
2.91 | 13 ratings

BUY
Everything Changes
US Neo-Prog

Review by toroddfuglesteg

3 stars The seventh album from Us continues on the same track as their previous six albums.

Us produce and play some pretty basic symphonic neo-prog. Their songs are long, but not particular technical. Us does not really impresses in the uber-tech department. They relies more on the art of creating good tunes. They use tonnes of keyboards and guitars to do this. That and some samples of symphonic orchestras. Their recording budgets are minimal so I guess the symphonic orchestra pieces here are keyboard created. With their budgets, I doubts they could even afford the Mongolian Symphony Orchestra. But the symphonic orchestra bits sounds great so no complaints from me here.

The main problem Us has is the rather tired vocals. Something I have now pointed out in my reviews of their previous albums too. The instrumentation are good and even great at places.

The songs are good, with the exception of the rather minimalistic and cringe worthy lyrics on the opening epic The Rules Of The Game. But the other songs are good.

There is nothing really bad or good to be said about this album. Those into minimalistic neo- prog should lap this album up. Most people will like this album, but not adore it. It is a good album and that's it.

3 stars

Thanks to windhawk for the artist addition.

Copyright Prog Archives, All rights reserved. | Legal Notice | Privacy Policy | Advertise | RSS + syndications

Other sites in the MAC network: JazzMusicArchives.com — jazz music reviews and archives | MetalMusicArchives.com — metal music reviews and archives