August 5, 2015

Deep State: Nice Review

(Independent Release) Passion and abandon lie at the heart of Deep State’s first full-length. It would be easy to compare the lo-fi calamity that binds songs like “Inside Pig” and “No Idea” to the lo-fi din set in place by indie rock’s early ’90s luminaries: Pavement, Sebadoh, et al. But three decades after those bands sprouted from the era that broke punk, singer and guitarist Taylor Chmura, guitarist Ryan Moore, bassist Christian DeRoeck and drummer Michael Gonzalez cope with ennui and young male emotions in wholly more direct ways, drawing strength from instincts and wit from the gut, shedding irony for self-effacing subtlety.

The album kicks off with “210 First St.,” a noisy sequel to the chest-bursting “Tittyboyz,” introduced on last year’s Bein’ Mean EP and reprised here. Deep State’s brand of raw, ecstatic energy evokes the sweat-soaked experience of the greatest house show you’ve ever survived: a night when the floor feels like it’s about to collapse under the pressure of so many people having fun.

Somehow, it holds together. Tension meets irresistible melodies, distortion and rolling drums on songs like “Wonders,” “Woof,” and “Payday,” all delivered with gusto and butted against the deep feelings of hatred and defeat brought on by the sound of a traffic cop politely explaining the citation he’s giving you (on “Deep State”). On Nice, the elation, resignation and all of the highs and lows just feel right.