Sound — 8
Sonic cascades and vibrating guitar strokes reflective of Interpol, Lost Ocean and Test Your Reflex infiltrate The States second full length album The Path Of Least Resistance, released by the indie-label Genious Collective Records. Produced, mixed and engineered by Evan Moore, the New York City based trio of Chris Snyder (lead vocals, guitar), Previn Warren (bass, piano, synthesizer), and Joe Stroll (drums, percussion) stack a heated mix of malleable vocals and dynamic chord movements with rafters of pop punk rhythms. At times, there is a smooth lounge voicing in Snyder's vocal timbres reminiscent of Dan Nigro from As Tall As Lions, and sometimes his voice has a hearty thrust like Casey Crescenzo of The Dear Hunter. The music glides and vibrates as chords glisten with a synth-rock echo having a likeness to Shiny Toy Guns and Pilot Speed. Tracks like 8x10 and Be Good Tonight produce aural chimeras and mounds of gentle twinkling melodics emblematic of She Wants Revenge and Hellogoodbye, while more intense tones surge tracks like Black Jack and Charm Offensive with abrasive guitar coils and flustering rhythms fired up like the UK's Editors. The synth-toned guitar chords resonate with an ambient-pop luster and course flouncy ruffles and crisp angles that induce chambers of scintillating sensations. The music is sonic bliss with sections of piano interludes that enrich the melodic channels. The States scored a harmonious album with The Path Of Least Resistance as they powered their synth-rock modem with a pop punk current.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics are as complex as human nature itself touching on emotions that exist beneath the surface. In the song Checkout, Snyder reveals, Maybe I tried to lose control to see how it feels/ God only knows what happens now/ How do we begin again/ God only knows how you found out I am a liar/ But I have no lies to tell/ So what's the use in telling this to you/ I am a time bomb, I just ruin what I have/ So what's the use of holding on to you/ Where is my confidence/ I'm quietly insanejust in my brain/ Cos in my heart, I still love you. The lyrics ponder over a lot of questions and open the floodgates to hidden emotions.
Overall Impression — 8
The States sophomore album The Path Of Least Resistance maintains the band's stance holding steady to synth-rock patterns which they banked on with their 2006 self-released debut full length album Multiply Not Divide. Their present album has melodic sensibilities and lively rhythmic activity. The tempo changes are beautifully seamed and the movements radiate with flickering guitar and synth vibrations. The melodies are irresistible in a Blondie-like way and give modern rock a boost in the synth-rock/ambient-pop direction.