Crossing Canyons

The Stereo State

Creator-Destructor Records, 2012

http://thestereostate.bandcamp.com

REVIEW BY: Tom Haugen

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 01/16/2013

With so many outside ideas influencing punk rock these days, the basic platform it began with – rebellious rock'n'roll – has actually become one of the least visible sounds you can identify punk with. New Wave, art-rock, experimental noise, or even metal bands are all too often being classified as punk as the range becomes increasingly wide with each new sub-genre that gets explored. While bands like The Melvins, Fugazi, and Refused sound nothing like each other and even less like the bands around at the onset of punk, there's no denying that these groups have played an imperative role in shaping what punk rock has become in 2012. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Well, Massachusetts' outfit The Stereo State is playing the more straightforward brand of punk rock, the way we're used to it sounding with the standard guitars, drums, and melodic yet raw energy. They know how to rock and roll and they do it damn well. 

EP opener “Across The Susquehanna” starts off with sparse instrumentation, the vocals taking the lead, but explodes into a mid '90s style rocker with harmonic singing and rapid fire drumming. It's reminiscent of legends like Avail or No Use For Name's best work and as great of a song as it is, things only get better from there. “Beachball” follows and though the pace is tad slower, the infectious melodic nature is still intact, as the song details a friend losing their passion in life.

The middle tracks, “American Bones” and “Say It Again,” are more mid-tempo rockers, not unlike the mid-period work of Samiam or Jawbreaker. The lyrics are sophisticated and self-reflective, the songs well written and memorable; “Say It Again” nearly approaches a harsher post-hardcore feel. The EP ends on “Flood,” which opens up with a gritty pop punk feel and moves into charged punk 'n' roll, featuring a chorus you'll need a guillotine to get off your mind.

This is the kind of listen where you are immediately compelled to seek out an entire back catalog to satisfy an urge to hear more. After doing so, I'm happy to report everything The Stereo State has done has been equally as timeless, catchy, energetic, and forthright as Crossing Canyons.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


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