States Of Nature – Brighter Than Before (Little Rocket)

The new album from San Francisco’s States Of Nature piqued my interest for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Little Rocket Records tends to be a mark of quality, head honcho Graeme knows a good tune when he hears one so I’ll always put my ear to the ground then they prepare for a new launch. Secondly the band bio mentions 90s era Dischord – this is one of my favourite musical breeding grounds (it’s too varied to label it a style) creating so many killer bands and releases.

On goes the download and from the opening chords of the title track Brighter Than Before my toes are tapping straight away. Somehow the band manages to be angular and subtly discordant but with enough hooks and superb dual vocals courtesy of Eric Urbach and Lindsey Anne.

Although the sound is rich and deep, the guitars are often soaked in reverb and with a trebly sound, think of Radio 4 or even Gang Of Four. As the album progresses, you can hear other influences creep in here and there but States Of Nature have done a great job in defining their own catchy sound and putting together an excellent album somewhere between latter-era Discord and indie guitar-pop. Tom Chapman

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