March 23, 2010

The Nation’s Third Oldest College Newspaper

Volume 80, Issue 12

Buffalo scene brews fresh talent

Photo of USS band member by Scott Penner.

Photo of USS band member by Scott Penner.

It seems unlikely, but sometimes the 3,000 or more songs on your iPod can become a little repetitive. There is a lot of local talent brewing around Niagara University, and keeping an eye out for emerging bands from the Western New York area and Southern Ontario is an easy way to keep the music on your playlists fresh.

Two up-and-coming bands that I have stumbled across over the past few months offer something different from the typical "Top 40" music that's repeated over and over on the radio.
USS, also known as Ubiquitous Synergy Seeker, is a Toronto-based duo that (to put it simply) makes you want to jump up and dance wherever you are. Son of the Sun, an indie band from Buffalo, has a more mellow sound, but is equally entertaining.

I recently saw USS in concert for the first time at 102.1 The Edge's "Everything to do with Fred" show and became an even bigger fan of the duo. When playing at The Sound Academy in Toronto, the musicians received a lot of support from their local fans. Their energetic set had everyone in the crowd moving.

When playing songs off its first full-length album, titled "Questamation," USS demonstrated why its album is going to be its breakthrough into the world of music. Ash Buchholz played guitar and sang as Jason Pardons played the turntables and ran all over the stage. Pardons really knew how to get the crowd going, by repeatedly doing handstands throughout the show and crowd-surfing over the mass of excited fans.

The highlight of the set was the band's exhilarating performance of "Laces Out." Everyone in the crowd was singing along to this outstanding song. The alternative, dance and electronic sound that the duo creates in its music is something that every music enthusiast should sample.

The rest of the USS spring tour is in Canada, but this band is definitely worth the drive.

If you can't wait to see some new live music, Son of the Sun is the perfect up-and-coming band for you to track down. The talented band plays shows in the Western New York area a few times a month and is amazing in concert. I've seen them perform at the Niagara Falls USA Hard Rock Café and at the popular Brickyard Pub and BBQ in Lewiston.

Son of the Sun was featured in The Buffalo News as one of the bands to watch in 2009. The band puts on excellent live performances. Lead vocalist Zac Ward always connects with the crowd. Their dreamy rock music reflects 1960s pop and truly separates the band from the monotonous songs on the radio.

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