Review Summary: 'CAUSE I'M FINALLYYY....YEAHHHHHHHHHH...COMIN' ALIVE!
Anthemic punk rock: It’s the type of melodic music rooted in Americana, which stresses exuberance, nostalgia, and unification above all other traits; something that has been kept alive in recent memory by the likes of Latterman, the Gaslight Anthem, and the Bouncing Souls (among many others). Through the years, this accessible brand of punk rock has thrived on the ability to capitalize on its simplicity, whether this is conveyed through gang vocals, lucid storytelling, or full-fledged energy. For the characteristic of enthusiasm alone, these groups have immediately impacted their listeners; tunes that can be easily shouted along with while it retains that relatable quality that is for formidable within music. Despite going almost utterly unnoticed, the State Lottery’s debut Cities We’re Not From
captured all of this in under a half hour and showcased a tremendous amount of potential. The State Lottery were coming alive.
With the rare opportunity for a second chance to make a first impression, the State Lottery could not have delivered with a more electrifying opener. “Coming Alive” is a stimulating track in every sense of the word; a hard-hitting punk rocker that is elevated by bawled vocals, an anthemic chorus, and the uncharacteristic use of a saxophone. The sax play could very well be the record’s greatest quirk, as much of the release appears molded around its melodies. The engaging “East Jordon” emerges as a clear highlight in this regard; the sax trading off the fronting role with the vocals and reigning supreme in the process. In fact, in many places Bruce Springsteen and the E-Street band are recalled due to the saxophone play, as the State Lottery are carrying on the very spirit of Americana which The Boss instituted. If the sax and overall enthusiasm isn’t enough to make the listener fall head over heels for When the Night Comes
, the anthemic qualities and melodies are just a few more traits that present the record with its allure. Along with its smooth transition from the opener, “Stories” is purely successful in its reliance on searing guitar leads and a multi-vocal chorus.
Even when the State Lottery are not thriving on When the Night Comes
’s seemingly unyielding energy, the band showcases an aptitude for charm. “Little Song” is the album’s lone “ballad;” a wonderful, melodic tune which is centered on the simple concept of forgetting about issues through music. As effective as the band is on multiple levels throughout When the Night Comes,
this all seems to culminate in the eight-minute closer. “Spring, 2008, Detroit” is a warm and uplifting paradigm of Americana; taking every extraordinary feature from the record and perfecting each. The record’s defining moment is undoubtedly revealed here, for the group vocals are a testament to the release’s unifying nature.
“And we hope that, the night would not come!”
Just as the Gaslight Anthem did with their sophomore release in 2008, the State Lottery have already proven to be veterans in what continues to be a flourishing brand of punk rock. As young as band as the State Lottery are, it stills comes as no surprise that they have developed into a tight and cohesive unit, poised for tremendous things. It truly is a shame that the band has not received the recognition they deserved for their debut, and may only be a bit of exposure away from becoming an icon in the modern music scene. For now, their sophomore release When the Night Comes
is a definitive piece of anthemic punk; a rollicking and unifying release which contains sufficient unique qualities to elevate it head and shoulders above its peers.