Progressive Rock is a pretty broad genre. At times it can be frantic and heavily go out into the experimental, like Pink Floyd or Radiohead. Other times, it can be eclectic and feature different genre influences like the Mars Volta has done. But one thing that stays consistent is that it really showcases a band’s skill to make music. One could always stray towards the simplistic sound that many Alternative rockers do. But Prog Rockers prefer to go all out and show how they can explore a more complex approach. Muse is one of the more recent popular bands to meld Prog influences into their Alt. Rock sound. This is where State to State comes in. The band, formed in 2014, set out to establish themselves with 2014’s No Bounds. Now the band is back with their new EP ‘Motives‘, and they’re ready to seek out a name for themselves.
‘Motives‘ kicks off with the lead single, ‘My Little Phony‘. This is where the Absolution era Muse inspiration can best be seen. With progressively driven guitars and a great bassline that back up vocalist Shea Stratton and his soaring vocals that sounds similar to Muse’s Matt Bellamy. The EP slows down with the song ‘Arms‘ which showcases the band’s ability to provide a more mellow atmospheric side to their music. ‘Let Go‘ sounds like a song you would hear from The Killers in their later years and it’s where the band’s sound picks up again. The band ”lets go” of their more mellow sound and breaks off into a heavily progressive instrumental break while the vocals echo throughout the section. This sound continues on to ‘Kings‘, which starts off more upbeat than the rest of the EP before it slows down to the atmospheric sound the band is known for. Finally, the closer, ‘Pins and Needles‘ , starts off again slower before the band slowly crescendos into a more aggressive sound as the singer screams his pain, saying the lyrics ”My head feels like Pins and Needles”. This is where the bands goes all out as the EPs most encouraging lyrics go off, ”We’ll stand again, with ice in our veins”; a plea to get up and keep on fighting. All this with the rest of the band following suit and going aggressive too, with distorted guitars and drummer Feudor Lokshin giving it his all. The sound showed off in the last minute of the closer is one I wish the band would push more towards. Don’t get me wrong; I really like their more spacious atmospheric sound they explore in other songs, but they pull off that more aggressive sound really well and it’d be great to see more of that.
Overall, the band has so much going for them with this EP that they show off great promise. As said before, I’d like for them to explore their more aggressive side, but that’s not to say that the sound they’re going for is bad. There is still a rich sound to be found in their more atmospheric side. While Motives isn’t gonna set the world on fire, it’s still a good listen and lays out the groundwork for the band to really go all out on their next release.