State to State is a local band that generates a satisfying wall of sound, calling to mind early Radiohead and Muse, with just a hint of Interpol. Nondescript and serious in black shirts and jeans, the band played Harvard & Stone last Wednesday with strong dynamics, trading moody verses for anthemic choruses. They filled the space with a sharp, clear guitar sound and singer/guitarist Shea Stratton’s strong, impressive vocals. He sounds like a grittier Thom Yorke in the lower register, but he can also change his tone and wail to add intensity.
The band (Andrew Orvis – guitar, Patrick Morgan – bass, Mike Schneider – drums) played tracks from their February release, No Bounds – note, it’s also available on cassette! – including the standout track “Comprehension Headache” with its energetic guitar and belting chorus. The opening song “The Fool” is another favorite of mine, partly because the vocals and guitar on the chorus remind me of Interpol but still bear the band’s own stamp. The album is a bit moodier than their live sound; State to State is a guitar band for sure, with layers of twining melodies throughout. “Sad Robot” is a dark instrumental while “Anybody There” morphs into an uplifting chorus and a pretty, melodic bridge.
The last track “Bring Out Your Dead” (nice title) has an appropriately dark energy, wrapping up an album that should appeal to any fan of 90s rock, or just plain well-structured guitar rock. According to their bio, their influences “range from Pink Floyd to Radiohead, Sigur Rós to Queens of the Stone Age, and early U2 to the late Jeff Buckley.”
State to State heads back out on tour this month but they’ll be back in L.A. on July 18 to play the 5 Star Bar downtown.
(more photos after the jump)