According to their Facebook page, Former States is "a bunch of sad/angsty Michigan kids." Let me tell you a few things about Former States and their debut EP entitled Heritage: first, do not let their short career give you low expectations; second, Former States is definitely sad/angsty; and third, if you are a fan of Citizen and Title Fight, you will definitely enjoy this EP.
Former States sets the tone early with a fast song titled "Stone Angel." I immediately noticed the excellent sound of the EP, both production and talent-wise; the riffs and vocals are catchy, the drumming is fairly typical for this style of music and the bass is noticeable. Next up is "Pudge," which is another fast song that reminded me of Title Fight's older material because of the guitar parts. The band takes a break about halfway through the song. Pounding drums, spoken-word lyrics, and slow and repetitive riffs is all you will hear for about 40 seconds. Then Former States gets things rolling again...literally rolling because of the drum roll that builds anticipation for the epic climax. The third track is the title track. "Heritage" is a shorter song that plays its role well. The riffs and vocals are catchy, the interlude is similar to Citizen and the brief outro is quite beautiful.
After three very solid tracks, Former States kicks it up a notch. "Judas" starts off quickly with a powerful chord progression and catchy lead. The vocalist really shines in "Judas" and displays his range several times, especially during the chorus. Heritage comes to a close with my personal favourite track, "Leaph Street." It starts off very calmly with a nice riff, which can be heard throughout the song, and an excellent bassline. The lyric that cues another buildup ("I'm not as useless as I make myself out to be") is one of the reasons why I like "Leaph Street" so much. The other reason why I like this track so much is how Former States briefly transforms into an aggressive pop punk band after the aforementioned buildup.
Former States isn't treading any new ground with Heritage, but that shouldn't matter because their debut EP is a work of brilliance. It combines the sounds of Citizen and Title Fight, but still manages to sound fresh. The only complaint I have is that there are so many "cool down" parts followed by buildups. They all sound great, but it becomes a bit predictable after a few times.
Links: Facebook - Bandcamp