In 2002 I was introduced to a band called Waltham by a friend while attending college in Boston. They quickly became one of my favorite groups because they rocked, sang exclusively about girls and put on a great live show. Waltham were poised to be the next great rock band out of Boston, but for whatever reason, they never struck the same chord outside of the Bay State. That was great for me because I could still call them my local band that only I was cool enough to know about, but I also felt disappointed that such great music was not being enjoyed by the masses. Waltham slowly faded away but has resurfaced every now and then for a special show, but no new music has been put out since 2006.
So fast forward to last week after I had a couple beers and was jamming the new Organ Beats record, I decide to Google one of the most charismatic singers to ever grace a stage–Mr. Frank Pino, Jr. There was no news on Waltham but after some serious stalking I found a YouTube clip of a project called “USA” with his brother Dave and Ken Susi from Unearth. That then miraculously lead to a Facebook page for USA!USA!USA! and a Bandcamp link to their new EP. What. The. Hell.
How did I not know about this sooner? I’ve been waiting six years for new material and it’s finally here. It’s not Waltham, but it’s damn close. Killer hooks? Frank’s croon? Tight licks? Songs named after specific girls? It’s all on What’s Your Name?.
It’s very hard to not compare USA!USA!USA! to Waltham. The sound is nearly identical except that USA! is a little faster and more aggressive, probably due to Susi’s involvement. What’s Your Name? is the most exciting new music to come out in the last year. It’s familiar, but fresh, nostalgic but not cheesy. “Sarah” has the biggest chorus of Frank’s career. “Michelle” shreds with a slick solo. “Christine” could have been on Weezer’s Blue Album. They even go for a mid-tempo ballad on “Karina.”
I’m only mad that there isn’t more. This EP is a great foundation to build on. I just hope they maintain momentum and take the group as far as I know they can go.
I’m chanting USA!USA!USA! like I’m at the 1980 Olympic gold medal hockey game against Russia.