Exciting times: an emo or pop punk record on All Apologies that isn’t from Massachusetts! No, this time it’s from the ‘Show Me State’ of Missouri, famous for producing names such as: Chuck Berry, Tina Turner, Scott Joplin and soon, perhaps, Old State.
Perspectives is a hugely accomplished album. Every song shows a different skill that this band has in their arsenal, successfully deploying: ambience, fuzz, acoustics and lyricism to name just a few. It opens with ‘You Won’t Find Me Here’ this short track is essentially a melancholy ambience which builds in intensity until you’re left with a a powerful climactic end, it shows emotion and it shows skill, making it the perfect song to kickstart an album such as this.
Old State swiftly move on into song number 2 and 3 : ‘Porch Swing’ and ‘Shorts Guy’ these two tracks are less emo and more pop-punk, they’re reminiscent of the sound of Brighton’s As it Is. Both powerful songs, moving in and out of crescendo, blending heavier fuzz and emotive vocals and although it’s not necessarily my sort of music, they could be two of the most accomplished songs on the album.
Song number 4 is the title track: ‘Perspectives’. The band turned down the distortion on their amps and scaled back the riffs for this song and it worked. What we’re left with is a more moody sound, it’s not massively different from the first three tracks, but what it does do is show that this band is capable of doing something outside of the same crunchy riffs and screamed vocals.
But if all this is true for ‘Perspectives’ then it is even more relevant for the final track: ‘Church Doors’. It’s a masterclass in story telling, a beautiful ballad telling of the loss of a friend. If anything it shows what Old State’s true talent is: emotion. You can feel the heartbreak coming through in every line of this song. Emo doesn’t always have to sound petulant, there’s a clue in the name, you need feeling. That is what this EP does so well: it portrays emotion with such ability that is rarely found in the underground scene at the moment, and it is something which is so important, because what is a musician really? A story teller, nothing more, nothing less.
Go buy Perspectives here.
Old State’s Facebook page is here.