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Articles Home » 1982 Articles » U.S.K. - 1982 U.S.K.
U.S.K. - 1982 U.S.K.

LABEL: House Of Lords
YEAR: 1982


LINEUP: Steve Samsel - lead vocals, Keyboards, rhythm guitar * Michael Stirn - guitars, vocals * Mike Bordeman - drums, percussion * Dave Nordstrom - bass, background vocals

TRACK LISTING: 01 Rockman * 02 Cause And Cure * 03 Shame On You * 04 Love's Got A Hold * 05 Take It Away * 06 Blood Run Hot * 07 I Want Your Heart * 08 Hot Fever * 09 I Found You

Interesting outfit from Spokane, Washington that found a good deal of success touring the wilds of Western Canada and in turn scored a one-off album deal with the obscure Alberta based House Of Lords Records. Sweetening the relationship was legendary British rocker Spencer Davis of the Spencer Davis Group (I'm A Man') handling production chores. How Davis became involved is unclear but it was a perfect fit for U.S.K. and their '60s influenced British sound. Despite the big name attachment, American labels never showed interest and after far too many years paying their dues on the Pacific Northwest club circuit, the group called it quits in 1985.

The Songs
I really don't want to call U.S.K. a power pop band as they're not nearly as schizoid as some in that scene turned out although there are elements of the sound present. Vocalist Steve Samsel pulls off a pretty good Paul McCartney on cuts like the pop perfect 'Loves Got A Hold' while 'Take It Away' is a truly sweet AOR tune in the Love Affair style. Borrowing from Cheap Trick ('Rockman', 'I Want Your Heart') and The Kinks early 80's arena rock, the Spencer Davis production is good enough for an indie, but does lack that certain 'snap' of a major label release. The same can be said for some of the material as well, although Davis liked the bluesy 'Blood Runs Hot' so much, he chose to cover it for his own 1984 solo 'Crossfire'.

In Summary
This was not the first shot at stardom for Steve Samsel or guitarist Michael Stim as both were part of another Spokane based outfit called Kracker that released one collectible album in 1978 on the Primo label. Currently Samsel has a few songs available over at CDBaby although the whereabouts of Stim and the other members of U.S.K. is a big unknown..

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#1 | gdazegod on November 08 2010 06:51:28
This is how the Kiwi's say the word 'ask'.. lol!
#2 | gdazegod on November 08 2010 06:52:22
Victory Group (reviewed here at GD) were also signed to House Of Lords Records during 1982.
#3 | super80boy on June 29 2013 16:41:04
A valiant effort for this struggling indie band. I like the bluesy rock feel of 'Blood Run Hot' and the AOR rockers 'Take It Away' and 'I Want Your Heart'.
#4 | reyno-roxx on June 29 2013 17:36:52
Funnily enough, House Of Lords were signed to Victory Records in 1992.....
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