Review Summary: "From this desolate peak I feel the tops of trees pointing back at me like a million teeth, wishing the wind would come and swallow me"
Living in California these last couple years has truly been a blessing. Sure the weather is nice and the overall populace are as beautiful as they are douchey, but what has really been a pleasure to behold is that the state has become a hotbed for what has been a beautiful rebirth in the post-hardcore and screamo scene. In the southern region of the state, bands like Touche Amore and Calculator have carved out a balanced and respected niche in the community, and up north in the bay area Beau Navire and Loma Prieta are carrying on and expounding upon the local tradition of The Funeral Diner and I Wrote Haikus About Cannibalism In Your Yearbook. Even more so, everywhere you look there are smaller bands rising through the ranks creating just as powerful and emotional music. One of these such bands is Santa Rosa's State Faults. While the name State Faults is new, the band isn't. They emerged two years ago under the name Brother Bear, releasing one of the best EP's of 2010 with their breakout Head in the Clouds
, a gorgeous record of shimmering guitar-lines and emotive howls, it not only caught the eyes of those in the local scene but snagged them a spot on the Tiny Engines roster.
is the group's first release since their change in nomenclature and first released through Tiny Engines (with Head in the Clouds
being a DIY endeavor). The style and sound of the music contained is an enchanting blend of loud and soft dynamics anchored heavily in pounding drums and soaring guitar histrionics that is just as uplifting as any cascading reverb-laden cadence found within post-rock. This whimsical sonicscape is further developed by bouncing technical flourishes in the instrumentation, especially in tracks like the delightfully intricate “Vespers”. When all mixed together along with honest and pleading high pitched vocalizations, the result is nothing short of astounding. Lyrically Desolate Peaks
is cryptic in its origins but empathetic in its ideals, fully embracing the emotional weight of loss, regret and at the same time hope and opportunity, fitting perfectly with the sentimental tug of the music. It's a roller coaster riding on heartstrings that ebbs and flows through the wreckage and trying emptiness of the thrust of young-adulthood.
With Desolate Peaks
State Faults have masterfully woven an ornate and beautiful web out of delicate tension. It transcends its “wave” influences, standing proudly as its own beast. If 2012 gives us a more affecting and inspirational listen than what State Faults have given us within these eleven songs, then we're in for one hell of a year.