When I think of the name State Faults, I imagine a fault line in the Earth's surface patiently waiting for the moment that it can crash its two plates together to shake the planet. After spinning the new record from the four-piece screamo band coming out of Santa Rosa, Calif., I think it's safe to assume that this description could also be attributed to the group of guys who go under the same name. With the band's last release, Desolate Peaks, State Faults created a little stir across the nation. Now the band has returned a year later, ready to release a brand new album under No Sleep Records called Resonate/Desperate on November 12.
The first track, "Meteor," wastes little time getting into the beef of the album. From the first beat, this song knocks you off of your feet and doesn't give you a chance to get back up for the next few minutes. The rhythmic drums flow perfectly with the atmospheric guitars and the emotion-packed vocals. The vocals have improved significantly since Desolate Peaks, as they are much easier to understand now and can still bring you to your knees with the energy and emotion that they carry. As I listen to the vocals, I can hear a lot of Pianos Become the Teeth and Frameworks in them, and fans of either band will feel right at home here.
The drumming is brilliant with all of the anthem-like marches and fantastic beats. Every single thing that the drummer plays is on par, and the style of drumming reminds me a lot of Touché Amoré. The guitars on Resonate/Desperate have a perfect tone. The riffs throw me back to Frameworks' Small Victories with the atmospheric, spacey feel that they have. Each song seems to have its own unique riff that doesn't feel like it has been reused or recycled a hundred times over. There is even a groovy solo thrown in on the fourth track, "Stalagmites." The production on the album is beautifully done, as each instrument is balanced with all of the others – and nothing is overpowering.
The second track, "Wildfires," is one of the best songs that I have heard this year. With an extremely fast-paced tempo in the first half of the song and screaming towards the end that will make the hairs on your arms stand up, this song blows me away each time that I listen to it. The first few songs are some of the fastest that this band has written, but they're balanced out with some smoother, slow songs like "Disintegration" or "Luminaria" that are equally as good.
Overall, there aren't too many flaws that I can find with Resonate/Desperate other than a few rare "blah" moments that I had while listening. Everything on this album is masterfully done and State Faults has made leaps and bounds in regards to progression from its last release. Resonate/Desperate is an outstanding follow up to Desolate Peaks and I'm anxiously awaiting to see what this band has to offer next.
For Fans Of: Frameworks, Pianos Become the Teeth, Touché Amoré