Former States - Heritage
Record Label: Self Released
Release Date: April 15, 2013
Self described Gloom-poper’s Former States capture life at its most vulnerable in their innocently turbulent release, Heritage. The sounds of Lake Michigan and the barren streets of Detroit break through in full strength as the Midwestern five piece trudges along grimly through five songs of Emo wrought excellence.
The opening track, “Stone Angel” shows a decisively popier side of the band, bringing to mind established pop-punk bands such as Stickup Kid and The Story So Far, especially in terms of vocal patterns and melodies. Musically as well, as soaring open ended chorus’s burst into fruition after closed off verse’s chock full of chainsaw rhythm guitars are left to hang with well planed simple leads, complementing each other perfectly. A style similar to the aforementioned bands as well as more mid-tempo Title Fight material. The song ends with a powerful chant of “Angel made of stone/only love I’ve ever know.” Powerful song writing indeed.
The next track on the record, “Pudge” includes a spoken word section followed by a bright snappy guitar line and drum roll that brings to mind early Thursday. An extremely impressive track is the song “Judas,” which although is mixed slightly on the loud side, with the guitars almost overbearing everything else, still shines through due to its high quality song writing and dark presence. Once again the Thursday influence shines through strongly, as well as a slight Daytrader sound, especially in the vocals. The heaviest track on the album with perhaps the heaviest lyrics “Everything you ever saw in me/was everything I never wanted to be,” “Judas” keeps the listener wanting more in the most depressing way possible.
Overall the sounds heard on Heritage are varied in an extremely narrow sense, which works well for a band trying to find their sound. Former States still lacks the originality of other bands with more prestige but they are not far from obtaining it. But a lot of talent resides within these five songs of despair and gloom and is by all means worth a listen to any fan of the genre.